British Columbia

1st date ends in technical rope rescue on Grouse Mountain

A man and woman were rescued from a dangerous, steep section of Grouse Mountain Saturday night, after the pair got lost on their first date.

A 24-year-old man and 19-year-old woman got stranded in treacherous terrain after losing the trail

Kazuki Toyoda, 24, and Kaho Asanuma, 19, are escorted out of the woods by two North Shore Rescue volunteers Saturday night. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

It's not the way most people want to end a first date: a distress call to North Vancouver RCMP after becoming stranded in treacherous terrain in the forest on Grouse Mountain.

But for a pair of young, inexperienced hikers, that's exactly how their first date played out.

North Shore Rescue (NSR) was called to Grouse Mountain around 7 p.m. PT Saturday, after 24-year-old Kazuki Toyoda and 19-year-old Kaho Asanuma became lost and stranded in a steep, cliff-riddled area west of the Grouse Mountain tram.

The hikers recently moved to Vancouver from Japan and weren't familiar with the trails.

"We rode the Skyride to the top, and then we were looking for the lake," said Toyoda. "We got lost."

Jim Loree, search manager with NSR, said he wasn't sure exactly which lake the two were trying to find.

"They were in good shape, just really, really unprepared and not knowledgeable of the terrain at all," said Loree.

A pair of hikers who got stranded on the steep face of Grouse Mountain give a statement to an RCMP officer after they were rescued from the treacherous terrain by volunteers with North Shore Rescue. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

Six NSR volunteers hiked in to locate the hikers, after making cell phone contact and establishing their coordinates.

A technical rescue with ropes and harnesses was required to safely get the pair back to an established trail.

The rescue team emerged from the trail with Toyoda and Asanuma at about 12:30 a.m., more than eight hours after the hikers began their excursion.

Toyoda thanked the volunteers, gave a statement to a waiting RCMP officer, and then caught a cab with Asanuma back to Vancouver.

He wouldn't say if a second date looked like a possibility after the ordeal.

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