An extensive search effort led to the rescue of a 22-year-old Montreal woman who went missing on a group hike north of Naramata.
On Wednesday at 8:50 p.m. Penticton RCMP received a report of a missing hiker from a member of a group of nine hikers that were exploring the top of Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park. RCMP said the group went up a challenging trail, being outpaced by the 22-year-old, when she became separated from the other hikers. When the woman did not make it to the top with the group they had thought she returned to their vehicle near the entrance of the trail, approximately six kilometres down Chute Lake Road. Upon return to the vehicle they could not find their friend.
RCMP and 12 search and rescue team members hiked the route in the dark but were unable to locate her.
Cpl. Don Wrigglesworth said the woman found herself off the trail with no water and was lightly dressed. She built herself a temporary shelter for the night and hiked toward Okanagan Lake on Thursday morning.
At daybreak 14 search and rescue team members from Princeton, Oliver/Osoyoos, Keremeos and Penticton were on the ground with the support of Eclipse and HNX Helicopter for evacuation and personnel transport. The RCMP helicopter from Kelowna assisted with two search and rescue team members on board. The woman heard the helicopter and signalled to it with clothing tied to a branch and was spotted.
RCMP said aside from being cold, she had suffered no injuries and did not require further medical attention. She was given a ride back to an orchard near Munson Mountain where she is employed as a seasonal worker.
“The RCMP would like to thank all of our dedicated search and rescue volunteers who assisted in bringing this matter to a safe conclusion,” said Wrigglesworth. “These individuals train countless hours to keep our community safe and we rely on their expertise in these situations. I would like to remind the public to ensure that they are prepared when going out on local adventure, bring the right gear, water and supplies and do not go out alone.”