Missing runner covered body in moss to survive
Published Monday, November 26, 2012 11:50AM PST
Last Updated Monday, November 26, 2012 7:57PM PST
A missing trail runner was found alive Monday after spending a night alone on the snow-capped North Shore Mountains wearing only shorts, running shoes and a hoodie.
The runner, an athletic man in his mid-40s, is believed to have lost his way after heading out for a run in the Hanes Valley area at around 1 p.m. Sunday.
North Shore Rescue leader Tim Jones said a 16-person search was sparked after the man’s car was found in the parking lot of Lynn Headwaters Park, but by Monday morning authorities feared the worst.
“We’re very glad that he’s alive. I’ll be very frank with you, we thought he was dead,” Jones said. “Our plan was a body recovery.”
The runner managed to survive more than 20 hours outdoors in sub-zero temperatures by burrowing into a stump and covering himself with moss overnight.
He was spotted by a rescue helicopter at around 10 a.m. Monday and taken to Lions Gate Hospital with a combination of trench foot and frostbite, but no life-threatening injuries.
Jones said the runner got lost in an area that’s closed to the public at this time of year due to treacherous terrain, and the incident serves as a reminder to obey posted signs and closures.