Hiker found in the Monashees

An overnight search for a lost hiker in some treacherous Monashee Mountain terrain, and weather, ended in a happy reunion.

A 56-year-old Kelowna man was out for a hike with his adult son Friday when the two got separated. The son found his way back while a search ensued overnight for the father.

Joining Vernon Search and Rescue, the police service dog team and Lumby RCMP members attended the report of a missing hiker in the area of Monashee Snowcat Lodge.

The search, which started at approximately 10:30 p.m., had crews spend the night on the mountain.

“The terrain was treacherous and the weather was very bad,” said RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk of the unfavourable conditions.

“One of our officers and three of the SAR members returned to base camp due to injury and equipment failures. Our officer sustained a strained ankle from a slip and fall.”

Helicopters were also searching the area and an aerial sweep of the valley ended up locating the lost hiker late in the afternoon Saturday. He was found heading in the opposite direction of the lodge at approximately 3:45 p.m.

“He was found standing near a large boulder on the valley bottom. He was waving a yellow rain jacket as a signaling flag and one of our officers caught sight of it.”

Due to the rough terrain, there was no place to land safely on the valley floor. But the police chopper pilot managed to bring it in close to the large boulder and got the hiker to climb up onto the right side of the boulder.

“The helicopter touched down with the right side skid on top of the boulder, crew then opened the door, the rescue was made as the hiker was helped inside the aircraft.”

He was then flown to the base camp where he was reunited with his adult son (both were from the Kelowna area).

“The RCMP would like to thank the dedication of the Vernon Search and Rescue members who spent the night on the mountain searching for the missing hiker.”


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