Rescued hikers vow to be more prepared after wrong turn left them on difficult trail after dark
VANCOUVER -- Two young people, who had to be rescued after they took a wrong turn on a Northshore hiking trail last night, say that next time they will be more prepared.
The pair of hikers were rescued from a trail near Mt. Seymour by North Shore Rescue late Friday night and had only minor injuries.
The hikers spoke to CTV News Vancouver when they returned to the rescue base around 2 a.m..
“We actually didn’t know we were lost, but then it turned dark and we were like ‘oh we are screwed,’” said the hiker who identified herself as Tiffany, but didn't provide her last name.
The rescue is the fifth call the volunteer rescue group has responded to this week.
The hikers did not have flashlights, a map, compass, whistle or other safety equipment. They were trying to return down the mountain from their hike when they took a wrong turn and started in on another, more difficult trail, called the Elsay Lake Trail. They were both wearing running shoes.
“We were supposed to leave from First Peak but then we did a wrong turn, and we actually started going on another trail … a difficult trail,” Tiffany continued.
During the hike they also saw a bear in the bushes, but said it did not approach them.
When it turned dark and they hadn’t gotten to the bottom of the trail, their internal alarm bells set in.
“I was like ‘oh my god I have to go home to see my parents,’” Tiffany said.
According to the rescue team, the two women were able to send a text message to one of their sisters, who then put a call into police, which North Shore Rescue then received around 8:30 p.m.
After searchers returned the young adults to the base, the volunteer search coordinator went over some safety precautions with them.
“You need to think before you go out, you need to plan your trip,” Peter Haigh said.
“You should always carry a light, and a whistle. A whistle makes a lot more noise than when you shout,” he said, as he handed them a list of what to pack for next time.
“You should have a map and a compass. You should know which direction you’re going because you were going in exactly the wrong direction,” he continued.
The hikers said they are grateful for the rescue and told CTV that next time they will bring better equipment.
“We have to be more prepared next time, for example wear a headlamp, wear proper shoes of course, bring a lot of food, (and) water,” Tiffany said.
Haigh said that a flashlight, in many circumstances, can avert search and rescue calls, and is urging would-be-hikers to be prepared before they set out on the trails as the summer comes to an end.
“You never know when you’re going to be out a little bit later. If you have a light, you can stay on the trail, because there are good markers on the trails, and find your way out."
“We’ve had a call every night this week. We find that people are twisting ankles, if they had some boots … a little extra support, it could save them a lot of trouble,” he said.