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

Vehicle stolen in Revelstoke recovered near Salmon Arm after occupants suffer overdoses

Police say they were alerted to the vehicle after occupants treated by ambulance after drug use

Revelstoke thrift store to reopen

It has been closed since March 17

WATCH: North Okanagan golf cart stolen, then returned

Homeowners have footage of two men taking the cart and then bringing it back

Police watchdog investigating fatal crash in Kelowna

Kelowna RCMP received a report of a single-vehicle collision on Bulman Road near Highway 97 on June 1

Kelowna council greenlights ‘The Wedge’

The wedge-shaped building will be built at the corner of Leon Avenue and Water Street

Province looks to seize Kelowna home owned by alleged drug trafficker

Michelle Collins and Nigel Byrne were also recently investigated by Kelowna RCMP for drug trafficking

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

John Horgan says COVID-19 restrictions won’t be eased regionally

B.C. Liberals urge ‘tailored’ response based on infections

Highway 1 closed after body found near Hope

Coroners Service reportedly on the scene, highway has been closed for 10 hours in both directions

Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

‘Instead of a National Action Plan, we have been left with a Lack-of-Action Plan’

LETTER: Questions raised about Summerland property taxes

Dear Editor: By now property owners in Summerland will have received their… Continue reading

Most Read