British Columbia

Hiker rescued, search called off for second man after avalanche near Mount Seymour

One hiker has been rescued, but his partner is still missing after an avalanche near a North Vancouver recreation area early Monday.
North Shore Rescue members lift the first hiker, at right, down to safety after an avalanche on Mount Seymour on Monday. The search for the man's hiking partner was later called off at nightfall. (Dillon Hodgin/CBC)

One hiker has been rescued after an avalanche north of Mount Seymour early Monday, but the search for his missing hiking partner has been temporarily called off because of bad weather.

North Shore Rescue spokesperson Mike Danks says volunteers hope to resume the search Wednesday when visibility clears. 

"The first order of business for us is going to be to mitigate the avalanche risk back in that area before we can put anyone in there," Danks said. 

The avalanche struck near Runner Peak in Mount Seymour Provincial Park early Monday morning. The first hiker was swept into some trees, but a helicopter crew rescued him by longline around 4 p.m. after he phoned 911.

Crews said there's been no contact with his hiking companion. The search was called off at nightfall Monday.

The rescued man, who was uninjured, said he's not giving up on his friend.

"They made this part as easy as it can be, but they're still looking for my buddy ... we're still holding out hope that everybody's going to be OK," said the hiker, who declined to give his name.

North Vancouver RCMP said the two men had been hiking overnight. Two helicopters and several volunteer searchers were on standby for hours, waiting for a break in the weather before the first rescue.

Allan McMordie said the cloud ceiling was too low to fly into the hikers' area and avalanche experts said the danger was still too high to safely send searchers in on foot.

With files from Meera Bains


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