Someone has been removing safety markers along a popular North Shore hiking trail, putting both hikers and long-line rescuers at risk.

Hikers who reach the top of Crown Mountain, just behind Grouse, are rewarded with a stunning view, but getting to its summit isn't easy.

"We've found people are getting off-route very close to the summit and getting up onto cliffs," North Shore Rescue manager Doug Pope told CTV News.

"We've been there for several quite difficult rescues this year."

One of the rescued hikers was Lance Dawson, who got so lost that he had to stay on a steep cliff overnight, and was found by crews on July 24.

"I just went the wrong way. Next thing I knew I was too far away to get back by nighttime, so I had to spend the night there," he said at the time.

Dawson's is a common story, so a volunteer who knows the trail well went through and flagged the route with bright orange tape, in an effort to keep hikers from straying.

"He did that on his own time about a month ago," Pope said. But for some reason, the markers were removed.

"Some people feel it takes away from the aesthetics of being in the forest if you see all these markings or some people feel some ownership of their our route and they want to keep too many people from being on the route," he said of the possible motive.

But the decision puts both hikers and rescue crews at risk. Pope said they'd had two rescues in the last month along the trail, and both were in the area that had been flagged.

Last weekend, a Metro Vancouver parks crew went through the area and re-flagged the path.

"We've probably marked it five times over the last 10 years," Pope said.

"We're hoping it's going to stay there this time."

With a report from CTV Vancouver's Shannon Paterson