North Shore Rescue saves 7 men from Howe Sound Crest trail

North Shore Rescue volunteers spent several hours Saturday night saving seven hikers who got lost on the icy Howe Sound Crest trail in Cypress Provincial Park.

Search volunteers say group lacked some key pieces of equipment for backwoods

An NRS volunteer gears up for a search in the Cypress Mountain Resort ski area parking lot on Saturday night. (Ryan Stelting)

North Shore Rescue volunteers spent several hours Saturday night saving seven hikers who got lost on the icy Howe Sound Crest trail in Cypress Provincial Park.

NSR was called by West Vancouver police to carry out the search around 5 p.m. Saturday.

The group of men from the Metro Vancouver area travelled from Cypress Mountain Resort to St. Mark's Summit, but became lost on the return trip, said NRS.

One of the hikers, who has diabetes, had trouble walking, but NSR team leader Mike Danks says crews have good communication with the missing group.

"Other than the one diabetic, I think everybody's in good shape and they did the right thing by phoning us right away," he said during the rescue.

"Because they were off trail, and thankfully they didn't descend down into Charles Creek which is where they are, because again that's very steep terrain in there with lots of cliff bends."

The seven hikers, all in their mid-20s, were all out of the woods at about midnight.

Search manager Simon Jackson said the group had only one flashlight, lacked appropriate footwear for the icy conditions, and would not have been able to build a fire, had they had been forced to survive the night.

Jackson said this was NSR's first significant call of 2016, with 18 volunteers taking part in the rescue.

2015 was a record-setting year for the search organization, with 136 calls in total.

With files from Rafferty Baker

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