Stranded hikers rescued on the North Shore
Published Saturday, July 30, 2011 2:30PM PDT
Two men in their 20s were rescued by North Shore Mounties early Saturday morning after getting stranded while hiking out of bounds between Grouse Mountain and Lynn Headwaters Park.
Daniel Jeffrey and Wesley Jay were hiking Friday in the Hanes Valley on the North Shore when they became stranded while trying to cross a creek at about 6:00 p.m. The two hikers, who were not familiar with the terrain in the area, made the decision stay put and hunker down for the night.
Tim Jones with North Shore Search and Rescue said that friends and family reported the two hikers missing after they didn't return from their day hike.
"They had a trip itinerary and people knew where they were going and what time they were coming out and it just didn't happen," Jones told CTV News. "It was out of character for them not to contact their parents or friends once they got out."
North Shore Rescue started searching immediately in the RCMP Air One helicopter along the route that Jeffrey and Jay were hiking.
On the sixth pass over the area, RCMP spotted the two hikers who were using a cell phone camera flash and a blanket to try and flag down help.
North Shore Search and Rescue volunteers then hiked in to their location and assisted them out of the area, returning at around 6:30 a.m. Jones said the hikers, who were cold but otherwise fine, made the right decision to stay where they were instead of trying to hike back out.
"They made a very good decision not to proceed," he said. "They got to Lynn Creek and the waters were flowing high because there is still a ton of snow up there."
Jones said that the area, a path that is well marked as closed, is very dangerous, especially for inexperienced hikers.
"It's not a great area to venture into right now. It's either high water at Lynn Creek or snow fields leading up to Crown Pass," he said. "So we really want to make sure people don't venture up there, especially people who don't have experience. These two, although they did some very good things -- the trip itinerary, the map -- they were somewhat prepared, but they were not prepared for this type of terrain."
Jeffrey and Jay are thankful that they packed a blanket, first aid kit, and told family and friends exactly where they were going. But they are mostly thankful to the team that rescued them.
"They're an incredible team," Jeffrey said. "We appreciate their efforts a lot too. Because of them we're here. That's pretty much the best part."
Jeffrey said that the experience has taught them a valuable lesson about hiking out of bounds.
"Next time we would follow the closed signs, and bring a flashlight," he said.
Jones is warning hikers to use extra caution during the long weekend because they are short-staffed.
"The search and rescue volunteers are on holidays too. There's not a lot of us around. Keep that in mind. The resources are stretched," he said.