5 snowshoers rescued on Gatineau Park trail
NCC closes parking lots in attempt to avoid more rescues on closed trails
Two different groups of snowshoers were rescued after they spent five hours lost in Gatineau Park near the same area where two snowshoers also got lost last week.
The CBC's Ashley Burke reported five snowshoers, three women and two men, from two separate groups got lost on a closed trail before finding each other in the forest Sunday evening.
The group said they were disoriented and started walking in circles after they ventured on to the path near trail number 40, about 400 metres from Meech Lake.
The path was not shovelled or ploughed by the National Capital Commission because the area was closed due to a winter storm before Christmas.
Now the organization has closed two parking lots in the area in an attempt to avoid any more lost outdoor enthusiasts on the closed trails.
Firefighters, police, paramedics and search and rescue teams rushed to the area and began their search. They had to cut through branches with chainsaws to create a trail for snowmobiles to reach the five snowshoers.
The group spent five hours on the trail before they were located by GPS coordinates while remaining on a cellphone.
"We just ended up going in a loop all the time and couldn't get out," said Catherine Seferovic, one of the rescued showshoers. "We were just following the same path, going a different way and ending up at the same spot, so we thought it was best to just stop."
2 snowshoers rescued after 18 hours in park
This was the same area where a 43-year-old man and 32-year-old woman were lost Thursday night on a closed trail. They had to wait 18 hours before they were rescued and the man suffered hypothermia and severe frostbite to his legs.
They were released from hospital Saturday.
Rescue teams now say they are becoming very familiar with the area. It took them far less time to find the showshoers this time around, even though it was after sundown.
"It was getting dark and we called these guys and all this response came out to help us out. It's just been incredible," said Seferovic.
The NCC has warned the public to stay away from areas where there are a number of downed trees and it's just not safe.