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Crews searching for 3 missing mountaineers near Squamish, B.C.


A search effort has been launched for a trio of mountain climbers who were reported overdue after not returning from their excursion near Squamish, B.C.

The mountaineers left for Atwell Peak in Garibaldi Park northeast of the city on Friday and have not been heard from since.

Squamish Search and Rescue and the RCMP have been trying to locate them, but the search effort has been hampered by inclement weather conditions, according to a Sunday news release from local Mounties.

Rescue crews are also challenged by “extreme avalanche conditions” in the area, police said.

“This area is not a walk in the park, this was a very technical mission by experienced mountaineers,” said BJ Chute, a manager with SSAR.

He told CTV News SSAR sent a helicopter, a ground team and a drone to the area on Saturday morning, but the mountain was deemed too unsafe to access.

The Royal Canadian Air Force’s 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron was also dispatched from Comox.

The low clouds, dark skies and heavy rain coupled with avalanche warnings means crews have not been able to get to the hikers yet Sunday.

“We’re considering it an active search, it’s just that we’re grounded due to the weather,” Chute said.

Everyone is on standby ready to go as soon as the weather improves, he continued.


Chute added that while it’s pouring rain at sea level Sunday, up on the peak a significant amount of wet, heavy snow is falling. “It really is still winter high up in the mountains,” he said.

He emphasized that the missing climbers have technical mountaineering skills and Atwell Peak is not a summit the average hiker would attempt. Even still, Chute urges anyone venturing out over the next few days to be careful.

“This weather really does highlight for me the fact that 911 cannot be your rescue plan, you need to be prepared,” he said. “Be prepared and be prepared to the point of self-rescue. Helicopters just simply cannot fly in this low ceiling and not having access to a helicopter can lead to a slower response.”

Chute said to bring a first aid kit, warm clothes and extra food on any wilderness adventures, which can “that can make a miserable situation a lot better” if you get injured and need to wait for crews.

“We certainly encourage people to get outside and adventure, but to do so safely and to keep that ‘what if?’ question in mind,” he said. Top Stories

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