Crews use window of good weather to resume search for missing hiker
Crews resumed searching for missing hiker Carl Couture on Dec. 3, 2017.
Published Sunday, December 3, 2017 4:55PM PST
A new lead in the search for a missing hiker believed to be somewhere in the North Shore mountains sent rescue crews back into action on Sunday.
Three weeks after the initial search for Carl Couture was suspended, the recovery effort gained steam again as crews resumed their search on foot and from the air.
"Ever since Carl has gone missing the weather hasn't cooperated really well for us," said Mike Danks, North Shore Rescue team leader. "This was an opportunity on a weekend when we could get more people out into the field."
Couture had recently moved to Vancouver from Quebec when he set out on a hike on Oct. 31 but never returned. He was last seen in surveillance video at the Grouse Mountain chalet heading toward the Hanes Valley trail.
During the first few days of searching, after a massive snow dump blanketed the North Shore Mountains, Danks said some of his crew members were at risk of getting injured.
But now, with a mild weather break, crews set out to give Couture's family some closure.
They focused their efforts on the west side of Lynn Creek and the east side of the Hanes Valley trail south of Norvan Falls, and also followed up on a lead from a member of the public.
"We got a report of an odour around 5.5 kilometres on the main trail," said Danks.
Searchers saw a debris torrent across the trail near the report of the odour, but combed the whole area and found nothing.
Danks estimates crews have spent over 1,500 hours searching for Couture but have come up empty handed.
Couture could be anywhere between the sprawling Hanes Valley and Lynn Canyone, and could potentially be buried under several metres of snow.
Friends of Couture's told CTV that the 24-year-old admired the teachings of Dutch daredevil Wim Hoff, who teaches techniques to withstand extreme cold. But Couture's close friend Annie Coulombe said his admiration for the "The Iceman" wouldn't have pushed him to spend the night in the mountains.
Danks is asking anyone in the area where Couture went missing to keep an eye out for clues like his personal effects.
"We just need any kind of indication," he said. "That would be huge."
With a report from CTV Vancouver's Sarah MacDonald