The fog was thick and affected how well headlamps worked at night during the search. Facebook photo, CVGSAR

Island SAR team finds hikers stranded in Strathcona Park at 4:30 a.m.

Hikers were lost in fog Friday night and missed junction on way to campsite

An all-night search in Strathcona Park serves as a good reminder for hikers to be prepared when they venture into the wilderness.

In this case, Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue (CVGSAR) was contacted to find a pair of lost hikers about 9:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 9. The two had become lost in the fog while returning to Circlet Lake from Mount Albert Edward.

“There was certainly lots of ample warning about the weather,” says CVGSAR president Paul Berry.

The search-and-rescue team found them about 4:30 a.m. on Aug. 10. The hikers had been stranded in the fog on a ridge above Circlet Lake at about 1,500 metres.

“They had missed the turn back down, or the junction on the trail back down to Circlet, gone too far west and ended up on a cliff face on the western shore of the lake,” Berry says.

After the team found them, they set up camp and brought them out once it was daylight on Saturday.

“They just pitched a tent, brewed some soup and got them warm, and basically caught a couple of hours sleep until first light and then hiked them back down to their campsite at Circlet Lake,” Berry says.

READ MORE: Comox Valley SAR looking for missing local hiker in Strathcona Park

READ MORE: Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue finds lost hiker

In this case, one of the hikers at a location where she could send a message to her mother in Washington. The mother contacted Washington authorities, who contacted Comox Valley RCMP, which in turn got in touch with CVGSAR to start a search. A team of four hiked into the area to find the pair, though seven or eight other members helped in a support or planning role through the night.

Berry points out the pair did some things right in this case: staying in one place, having a communication device that worked, using a noise-making device like a horn that helped the team find them and bringing flashlights.

“They had some things with them to help them out through the night,” he says.

However, he emphasizes there are some things the two hikers should have done differently, such as leaving for the summit earlier in the day, preparing for changing weather conditions, having a map of the area and being wary of all rock cairns as guides.

“Certainly, time of day heading up was problematic,” he says.

The fog that came in was especially thick in the area and made searching difficult.

“Even your headlight beam didn’t provide you much visibility,” he adds.

As well, Berry recommends hikers have a navigation device like a GPS because it is not possible to rely on one’s mobile phone in remote locations and sometimes there are no well-worn trails to follow.

“Once you’re in the alpine, you need to have good navigation skills,” he says.



mike.chouinard@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The search team led the hikers out Saturday morning once there was daylight. Facebook photo, CVGSAR

Just Posted

Drivesmart column: Mandatory alcohol screening

If you have to drive, don’t drink. If you drink, don’t drive.

Mary Lowther column: Time to plan the winter garden

Weeds have gotten away on me, I’ve just finished laying out my soaker hoses

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Sarah Simpson Column: Finding nature at home

It was time to call in reinforcements.

Shady Lady: legendary Catalina touches down on Cowichan Lake

Two flying boats test the waters west of Youbou

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Missing teen visiting Courtenay found safe

She had last been seen going for a walk on Aug. 6

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Most Read