NEWS

73-year-old hiker rescued on Hanes Valley Trail

07/15/2015 07:39 EDT | Updated 07/15/2016 05:59 EDT
Volunteers with North Shore Rescue (NSR) were called out for a late-night rescue, when a 73-year-old man's family reported him missing after a hike on Tuesday night.

NSR Team Leader Mike Danks said the man's family called North Vancouver RCMP when he failed to return after a strenuous solo day hike on the Hanes Valley Trail, from Lynn Headwaters to Grouse Mountain.

Danks said search crews were sent from both ends of the trail, and four NSR members found the hiker ten minutes up the trail from the Grouse end, at about 1 a.m. Wednesday.

"To be honest, I was a little surprised he was trying this route at his age," said Danks, who added that the area is very remote. 

"We've had a number of calls for people that have gone missing and actually succumbed to hypothermia back there."

Danks said the man was not injured when volunteers found him, but was exhausted and taking a rest. The hike had taken several hours longer than the 10 hours the 73-year-old had planned for.

"He hadn't done this hike in [a] really long time and I think, as the years have gone by, it got a lot more challenging as he got older," said Danks.

"We're certainly going to recommend to him that he doesn't do this again."

Hiker was well-prepared

While Danks said it was likely a mistake to attempt the hike at that age, and it should have been done with a friend, he added that the man did a few things right.

The hiker was well-prepared and had packed plenty of fluids, as well as a flashlight. He had also informed family members where he was planning to go and how long the hike was expected to take. Danks said the family didn't hesitate to call for help.

"We always encourage people to call us right away to give us the heads-up," said Danks.

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