It was dark and they were cold with empty water bottles.

Yuhan Li, 20, an Ontario resident and his hiking companion, a 21-year-old American student, found themselves in a predicament Friday night when they were hiking the trails in West Vancouver for the first time.

"The trail was pretty steep -- steeper than we thought," Li said. "It was getting foggy and pretty cold, and we ran out of water."

They started the journey at the Nelson Creek Trail before making their way to Eagle Bluffs, when they learned the hike was going to take them longer than they originally anticipated.

Just before 10 p.m., they called 911 when they realized they weren't prepared to continue their hike.

West Vancouver Police contacted North Shore Rescue to find and rescue the pair some five hours later.

"They weren't really prepared to stay out overnight if they had to. They obviously weren't prepared for the darkness and didn’t anticipate the hike was going to take them so long," said search manager Simon Jackson.

Jackson stresses all hikers should be prepared, and given that the visiting hikers were not, they made the right choice by calling for help.

"The worst thing would've been to carry on and lose the trail completely. And that could've gotten them in some dangerous terrain and made it a lot more difficult for us to find them," he said.

Li said they are grateful the rescuers responded so promptly.

"I must thank them for maybe saving our lives and we weren't feeling good on the mountain."