Two hikers failed to return as scheduled from a backwoods trip, but both were found safely by searchers.
A 42-year-old female and a 23-year-old male were on a day trip to the popular Sugarbowl - Grizzly Den Provincial Park area east of Prince George on the south side of Highway 16 but caused their loved ones concern when they didn't return as planned. With nights growing colder, a search was mounted the next morning when their disappearance was reported to authorities.
"An officer attended the parking lot of the park and located a vehicle belonging to one of the hikers," said Prince George RCMP spokesman Cpl. Craig Douglass. The Mounties immediately called in Prince George Search and Rescue (SAR) ground crews with the help of a helicopter for aerial support.
"One of the missing hikers was known to SAR personnel and was believed to have had some survival training," Douglass said.
At about 3 p.m. Tuesday, other hikers in the park heard calls for help and relayed this to the search party. With that information to guide them, it took only about half an hour for SAR personnel to find the missing hikers.
"The indication is that they became lost and were unable to make it back to their vehicle," said Douglass. "Sugarbowl - Grizzly Den Provincial Park is nearly 25,000 hectares of mountains and canyons."
The hikers were in good health and spirits when found.
Police remind hikers to take the necessary precautions before heading out for any local excursion. Appropriate clothing, maps and emergency equipment should be standard, even for a day hike. Always tell someone where you are going and leave details of your plans with them.