VANCOUVER — Rescue crews have found a missing female hiker safe after she was stranded overnight in the backcountry of Crown Mountain in North Vancouver.
North Shore Rescue says the 36-year-old Vancouver woman was spotted by searchers in a helicopter in Hanes Valley at around 8 a.m. Saturday morning.
Crews began an extensive search Friday night after the woman's boyfriend called local RCMP when she did not return home.
The search continued overnight and Coquitlam and Lions Bay Search and Rescue also sent members to help in the morning.
North Shore Rescue's John Blown says the woman was well-prepared, including telling someone where she was going and packing food, a space blanket and jacket, but she just got off trail.
He says the space blanket helped the crews in the sky spot her and she was hungry and cold, but otherwise OK, after being lost for 17 hours.
"She looked good," adds Don Jardine, also with North Shore Rescue. "I think she was more embarrassed than anything about needing to be rescued and getting lost. But I think she did all the right things."
Jardine says she had found her way from Grouse Mountain north to Crown Mountain, but unfortunately became disoriented and turned around when she descended into Crown Pass.
She then couldn't find her way back to Grouse and went east into a remote area with no cell coverage, he says.
"She sort of recognized it wasn't the way she had come, but she couldn't find the trail where she had come out and it's not that easy to follow some of the trails," he says.
"Unfortunately, there were no other people around. She was the last person. She thought, well, at least she could go down that trail and find safety or find someone to help her. It got dark very quickly as she got farther down into the woods."
She found a flat rock and cut some branches down and made up a spot to spend the night, which Jardine says was smart because often people panic and head deeper into forested areas.
In the morning, she was able to get a global positioning system app on her phone to work and decided to retrace her steps and go back to where she had lost the trail, he says.
"She was up a little ways when we came across her and picked her up," Jardine says.
He's reminding the public that a good majority of people who get into trouble on the mountains are on their own.
"Typically if you've got a partner to rely on, you can talk things over and make better decisions, especially going into an area that you're not familiar with and haven't hiked in before."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 21, 2019.
(The Canadian Press, News1130)