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Hiker rescued after 9 hours stranded on North Shore mountain

North Shore Rescue searches for a missing hiker on Mount Seymour Sunday night. (Image credit: North Shore Rescue/Facebook) North Shore Rescue searches for a missing hiker on Mount Seymour Sunday night. (Image credit: North Shore Rescue/Facebook)
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A hiker was rescued Monday morning after spending nine hours stuck on Mount Seymour on a cold, foggy night.

Members of an online hiking group alerted police that a member of their party did not return with them at 6:30 p.m., North Vancouver RCMP said. The group hiked down the mountain after watching the sunset at Pump Peak. The missing member left for the parking lot 15 minutes before his friends, and when they got to the lot, they called 911 upon realizing he wasn’t there.

In a social media post, North Shore Rescue said it was called to help find the hiker at 7:15 p.m., and crews spent the next eight hours conducting an “old school search” for the man in the dark.

The search effort was old school, because rescuers couldn’t ping his phone’s GPS location, police couldn’t get coordinates from cell tower triangulation, and the Talon helicopter was grounded because of the fog.

NSR members searched along the Pump Peak trail, looking for footprints in the snow and calling out for the missing hiker. Teams also split up to search east and west of the trail.

After “quite a bit” of searching, the team on the east heard an “extremely faint sound,” and further searches revealed a set of fresh bootprints leading away from the trail.

“The search team followed the prints down extremely complex terrain, including multiple locations where the subject had slid/fallen down five-plus metre cliffbands,” NSR wrote.

Police said the hiker slipped while attempting to take a shortcut, and slid down the side of the mountain, eventually landing near a river.

The man’s responses to NSR’s calls got louder and louder, which helped crews determine his approximate location. The team’s thermal dome then pinpointed it.

North Shore Rescue searches for a missing hiker on Mount Seymour Sunday night. (Image credit: North Shore Rescue/Facebook)NSR said crews had to contend with multiple cliff bands and steep, narrow creek gullies, making reaching the hiker “an ordeal.”

“Once with the subject, search crews were able to warm him up, provide food/water, address his injuries, and begin the slow hike out,” NSR said. They made it down the mountain by about 3:30 a.m.

“There is no better feeling for SAR members than finding a lost person and successfully returning them to their loved ones,” NSR wrote.

Police added the hiker suffered minor injuries in the fall.

Rescuers said they believe the hiker took a wrong turn off the trail on his way back because he didn’t have a light source, reminding wilderness-goers to always bring essential equipment.

NSR said matters got worse when he continued downhill after getting lost. “On the North Shore, this is never a good course of action, as the terrain gets progressively steeper and steeper and ends in cliffs,” it wrote.

Police also gave safety tips for those adventuring in the North Shore mountains, including: never hike alone; plan and study the route ahead of time; let others know where you’re going and when you’ll be back; dress appropriately for the weather; bring the right equipment—such as a headlamp at night.

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