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

‘Snowmaggedon 2020’ has passed, but 20-30 milimetres of rain expected Friday

Residents should brace for rain and clear drains to prevent localized flooding

What happens in the Cowichan Valley when an earthquake strikes

When an earthquake does happen, will the Cowichan Valley be ready for it?

Exploring life, the afterlife, and near death experiences with Dr. Lynn Echevarria

Echevarria will deliver a talk to the LRCA Seniors Centre Tuesday, January 21 at 1:30 pm

Winter storm warning now in effect for Island’s east coast

Environment Canada issues new weather warning late Wednesday afternoon

Town of Ladysmith snow removal crews prepared to respond to overnight snowfall

10 to 15 centimetres of snow are expected for Ladysmith overnight Tuesday into Wednesday morning

VIDEO: Soldiers trade rifles for snow shovels to help dig out St. John’s

A state of emergency is set to extend into a fifth day

Power lines cut as thieves strike Vancouver Island veterinary hospital

‘Thankfully there weren’t any animals or staff in the clinic when this happened’

Warm ‘blob’ could be behind mass starvation of North Pacific seabirds: study

Unprecedented death toll raises red flag for North American marine ecosystems

Nanaimo mom will celebrate 40th in style after $500,000 lotto win

Crystal Giesbrecht matches all four numbers on BC/49 Extra

ICBC to bring in ranking system for collision, glass repair shops

Change comes after the much-maligned auto insurer has faced criticism for sky-high premiums

‘It was just so fast’: B.C. teen recalls 150-metre fall down Oregon mountain

Surrey’s Gurbaz Singh broke his leg on Mount Hood on Dec. 30

Vancouver Island Pride weekend returns to Mount Washington Alpine Resort

Building on the success of last year’s family-friendly pride festival on Vancouver… Continue reading

Scarlett Point lighthouse keeper wins a million bucks playing the lottery

“I usually just get a quick pick, so I didn’t expect to win a big prize”

Most Read