COSAR rescued two lost hikers from Okanagan Mountain Park on March 28. (Contributed)

COSAR rescues two lost hikers from Okanagan Mountain Park

Two male hikers were overdue from a hike they left for on the morning of March 28

Central Okanagan Search and Rescue (COSAR) was contacted by the Kelowna RCMP to rescue two lost hikers near the cell towers at the summit of Okanagan Mountain Park late Saturday night.

According to COSAR, two male hikers in their mid-20s has been out since 9:30 a.m. and were caught by surprise when a snowstorm blew in and obscured the already over-grown Baker Lake trail.

The two men bushwacked to the visible cell towers, found shelter from the high winds in the leeward side and called for help.

A dozen COSAR members subsequently responded to the call.

READ MORE: Apparent gas leak on Highway 33 in Kelowna

To minimize exposure due to COVID-19, COSAR sent a two-person team in with a track-equipped UTV. The remaining members, and a helicopter equipped with night vision in Penticton, were placed on standby.

The UTV team got within a kilometer of the hikers when the snowdrifts became impassable. The two searchers then started walking with snowshoes and reached the mean at about 1:10 a.m.

The rescue team placed N95 masks on the men for precaution and everyone returned to base by 2:30 a.m. The hikers were cold and very exhausted but otherwise in good condition.

Search manager Brian Stainsby said SAR teams are still available 24/7 during the pandemic, but suggests now is not the time for ambitious adventues.

“The hikers were experienced, but the weather at the summit was different than in the valley bottom. The hikers were not prepared for the change in weather conditions, which led to the need of our assistance.”

READ MORE: RCMP, firefighters rally in support for health care workers in Kelowna


Daniel Taylor
Reporter, Kelowna Capital News
Email me at daniel.taylor@kelownacapnews.com
Follow me on Twitter

Search and Rescue

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rogers initiative ‘Step Up to the Plate’ to help Central Okanagan Food Banks

The initiative will deliver food hampers that will provide more than 1,343,000 meals for local food banks

Fire causes significant damage to West Kelowna home

The fire was first reported at 10:30 a.m. on Aug. 6.

Driver rescued after car goes down embankment near Kelowna

The Kelowna Fire Department performed the high-angle rope rescue around 7:10 p.m. on Aug. 5

UPDATE: Wildfire forces evacuation of homes between Summerland and Penticton

Emergency vehicles are at the scene near Sage Mesa, evacuation centre set up in Penticton

Morning Start: Water can freeze and boil at the same time

Your morning start for Thursday, August 6, 2020

B.C. would not send students back to school if there was ‘overwhelming risk’: Horgan

Plan has left many parents across the province worried about their children’s safety

North Okanagan police search for owner of lost iPhone

Concerned citizen turns phone into RCMP

Face masks will be mandatory for customers at all Walmart locations

Requirement goes into effect on Wednesday, Aug. 12 across Canada

Community Foundation of South Okanagan Similkameen presents bursaries worth more than $40,000

Nine endowment funds provided bursaries to 20 students within region

Masks to be mandatory on BC Transit, TransLink starting Aug. 24

Both BC Transit and TransLink made the announcement in separate press releases on Thursday

Molotov cocktails thrown at Revelstoke home in arson attempt

The flames were extinguished before they spread

British Columbians worried as end of COVID-19 rental supplement looms

Single mom struggles as supplement was her saving grace

Fire at Marble Point near Sicamous now under control

Two days of work on the fire has reduced its size and controlled it

Arson suspected in several wildfires lit near Kootenay town

RCMP making progress in arson investigation of Marsh Creek fires

Most Read