Missing hikers facing heavy snow, high winds

Two men who failed to return from a weekend trip up Mount Albert Edward in Strathcona Park moved to B.C. recently from Quebec and Ontario.

Pair caught in snowstorm attempting to hike Vancouver Island's Mount Albert Edward

Weather made it harder to look for Jean Lessard, Christopher Yao 1:58

Two men who failed to return from a weekend trip up Mount Albert Edward in Strathcona Park moved to B.C. recently from Quebec and Ontario.

More than two dozen searchers have spent a second day on Vancouver Island looking for Jean Simon Lessard, 22, and Christopher Yao, 31.

Paul Berry, a search manager with Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue, said there are concerns for the missing men because they have had to endure heavy snow and high winds in recent days.

"They're young, they're strong, they're very fit," Berry said.

"So we're certainly very hopeful that they have done all the right things and are hunkered down because of the weather. We just haven't been able to get into that area that we hope that they're in."

Despite the harsh weather, teams have now been able to access new areas of the mountain.

"We've now finally been able to get searchers into the higher elevations of Mount Albert Edward and onto the back side of Albert Edward, areas we couldn't search last night," Berry said.

Second day of searching

The effort began Monday with dozens of people and two helicopters. On Tuesday, the search crew is being aided by a third helicopter.

One of the two hikers did have a cellphone when they departed, but authorities have been unable use it to track them.

The pair left Victoria on Friday, and were supposed to return home on Sunday. When they failed to return, they were reported missing Monday afternoon.

"Our understanding is they were going in and trying to do Mount Albert Edward, which is about a 15 km hike. Most people do it over two days, but obviously something didn't work out and they are not back yet," said Mike Bryan, also with Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.