Efforts to rescue lost or stranded hikers in the Lower Mainland this weekend serve as reminders for those heading outdoors to be properly dressed and prepared for weather conditions.
At 4:30 p.m. on January 18, Coquitlam RCMP responded to 911 calls about five adult hikers who had left in the morning to go hiking and snowshoeing on Eagle Mountain near Anmore, B.C., but had become lost.
RCMP sent out Coquitlam Search and Rescue team to locate them.
Coquitlam Search and Rescue stated that the group became lost on the Swan Falls trail in a hazardous terrain area with a high avalanche warning.
A rescue team managed to reach the hikers by 1 a.m. but waited until daybreak to begin the hike out.
At 6:30 a.m. today (January 19), Coquitlam RCMP announced that all five hikers had managed to walk out on their own and were safe.
The hikers remained uninjured but they were very cold as they were only lightly dressed.
Meanwhile on January 18, North Shore Rescue (NSR) stated that they were rescuing three hikers that had become stranded on the BCMC trail on Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver.
While the rescue team was on its way to these hikers, they encountered other hikers in a similar predicament.
Due to sleet and rain falling on compacted snow, the trails had become very slippery and the hikers found they were unable to hike up or down due to the formation of ice.
Consequently, NSR advises that all hikers should be wearing microspikes or similar footwear traction in these weather conditions.
Although Avalanche Canada had predicted that avalanche danger ratings in the Sea to Sky and South Coast regions would reach high today (January 19), the ratings are currently listed at considerable for all elevations.
However, new snow, strong winds, and warming temperatures mean that natural avalanches remain possible today.
Avalanche danger ratings are forecast to lower on Monday and Tuesday (January 20 and 21). For more details or updates, visit the Avalanche Canada website.