March 14, 2015 8:50 pm
Updated: August 6, 2016 3:35 pm

Blind man rescued from The Lions after spending days in the mountains

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A legally blind man who went on a multi-day hike on the North Shore is grateful to Lions Bay Search and Rescue for picking him up after he became disoriented and dehydrated.

“I’m fortunate these guys were here to have my back,” says Bryce Lalonde, who went hiking on the Lions peaks on Thursday but “underestimated the trail” and ran out of water and energy.

Lions Bay Search and Rescue Team Leader Brent Calkin says Lalonde spent Thursday night camped at the Bowen Island lookout spot, but his hike went off the rails on Friday.

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“Everybody’s fooled by the weather right now,” he said. “It’s not summer on the mountain, it’s winter.”

READ MORE: There were two rescues on Crown Mountain earlier this month

“[Lalonde] was in hard ice and snow. It’s difficult and treacherous travel right now. Usually there’s about four metres of snow and people are in snowshoes. There is a thinner layer of hard ice, and people need to be equipped properly to be out there.”

With no water and being unsure of his surroundings, Lalonde stopped on the Howe Sound Crest trail Friday night, and phoned Lions Bay Rescue just before 10 a.m. this morning.

“I had to call for help, because after a night of no water I had no energy to get down the mountain,” he said.

Calkin credited Lalonde for having saved his cell phone battery so he could make a call and provide detailed coordinates to his team.

“Spare batteries are important, and maintaining what charge you have is important,” he said.

Lalonde is legally blind, but does have limited vision – and it appears his tense night on the Lions hasn’t diminished his enthusiasm for mountainous hiking.

“Plan ahead, make sure you do your research, and don’t let any kind of personal disability or problem get in the way of going for an adventure and doing what you want to do,” he says.

© 2015 Shaw Media

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