WATCH ABOVE: A hiker in the Fraser Valley is safe, thanks to the efforts of several search and rescue volunteers. The man got lost on a Chilliwack trail yesterday, kicking off a dangerous rescue operation that lasted 12 hours. Jeremy Hunka reports.
A hiker who got lost above the snow line in the Fraser Valley is telling his story so that others don’t repeat his mistakes.
Adrian Peters was hiking around Pierce Lake, southeast of Chilliwack, when he got lost above the snow line.
“The trail markers were missing or falling off the trees, so that’s why we got lost, I believe,” he says.
Wearing only hiking shoes and layers of fleece, Peters soon found himself stuck on an icy ledge, with only enough battery life to phone 911 a couple of times – and then to wait.
“I was definitely scared. I thought if they didn’t get to me that night, I wouldn’t make it. If I had abandoned my dog, I could have made it, but I didn’t want to abandon my dog,” said Peters.
Then came the freezing rain, making Peters extremely cold and slowing the path of over 20 search and rescue volunteers who had responded to the call.
“We needed these microspikes on our shoes to make it up the icy sections of the trail, and all this fella had on was running shoes,” says Doug Fraser of Chilliwack Search and Rescue.
Eventually, Chilliwack Search and Rescue were able to get to Peters using ropes.
“Right when I started hearing voices from search and rescue, I was starting to shake really bad,” he said.
Those involved in the operation say the entire situation was avoidable.
“This guy plain and simple should not have been on the trail that day,” said Fraser.
“We know accidents are going to happen, but in this situation it was totally avoidable. These sorts of things are incredibly frustrating for our members.”
Regardless, Peters is incredibly grateful to Chilliwack Search and Rescue.
“Thank you for saving my life.”