2 stranded hikers rescued from steep, icy trails on Grouse Mountain

·2 min read
Rescuers had to use 100 metres of rope to pull two hikers out from steep terrain on Grouse Mountain on Feb. 14.
Rescuers had to use 100 metres of rope to pull two hikers out from steep terrain on Grouse Mountain on Feb. 14.

(North Shore Rescue/Facebook)

Two hikers were rescued by North Shore Rescue crews Sunday night after getting stranded on steep, icy terrain on Grouse Mountain.

Rescuers say the two men in their 20s had already slid down steep slopes in an area west of the popular Grouse Grind trail, which is closed to the public, and had to be rescued using 100 metres of rope.

"One of them was sort of leaning against the tree and the other was using some roots to keep themselves from falling further down," said North Shore Rescue manager Scott Merriman.

"We had some rope systems to get them back up to a safe position."

Rescuers had to rappel down to the hikers, provide them with harnesses and belay them back up to a safe location where they could then be walked down the mountain using hand lines set up by crew members, North Shore Rescue said in a Facebook post.

Neither hiker was injured.

The hikers used one of their phones to make a 911 call around 7 p.m. PT Sunday, but could not be called back because they did not have a cellphone plan, according to the Facebook post. They were quickly located by pinging their phone's location.

North Shore Rescue/Facebook
North Shore Rescue/Facebook

Merriman said current conditions on the mountain are more dangerous than usual.

"It was very icy and slippery," he said. "[Crews] had to use full crampons for the lower portion of Grouse Mountain, which is not common for Vancouver."

Merriman says the two men weren't wearing appropriate footwear given the icy conditions and didn't have a plan of their trip.

"They just went out and then they went off trail and [got] lost," he said. NSR says steep and icy conditions require mountaineering boots and crampons.

Merriman warns that with snow and rain in the forecast, slippery conditions could last for another two days, even at lower elevations.

He reminds hikers to make a trip plan before leaving and be prepared to endure weather conditions if they become stranded.