What started out as an outdoor adventure turned into an almost 12-hour search and rescue operation for three people on Mount Hays.
The Prince Rupert Ground Search and Rescue were called out at 6 p.m. on Aug. 9 after the missing hikers contacted RCMP after recognizing they were stuck.
The Initial Response Team set out with two vehicles to the summit of Mount Hays where the trained man trackers picked up signs of two male and one female. The tracking took the team through some very hazardous terrain and it wasn't until midnight that the team located the hikers.
However, the hikers were in a precarious position — 200 metres above Wantage Road between a very large vertical cliff and a very steep section looking up the mountain. The rescue was a dangerous one due to loose soil, but the first response team was able to provide blankets, hot tea and protein snacks while another team scouted an exit route to begin the descent.
By the time the volunteers reached their vehicles and were able to drive the hikers to safety it was five a.m.
The 21 volunteers who make up the team and cover Prince Rupert, Highway 16 on the North Coast and surrounding First Nations villages, are currently seeking community support to fund further training and equipment for the members, who are on call 24/7.
For more information on the group, visit a Sept. 13 open house at the Port Interpretive Centre beginning at 7:30 p.m. or visit the organization's Facebook Page.