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Search and rescue crews kept busy over the long weekend

VANCOUVER — It’s the start of a busy season for search and rescue teams across the province.

Three climbers are safe and back in their homes Sunday after an unexpected night near Crown Mountain. They were attempting to climb the Widow Maker. The women all had alpine experience, but they were doing the extreme climb for the first time.

“They got pretty well to the top, they were about one pitch short and realized they were a little off-route,” Don Jardine of North Shore Rescue told Global News. “They didn’t want to push it at that point; it was getting late on Saturday night and they hadn’t planned on spending the night but rather than getting into trouble off-route, I think they did a smart thing and decided to down climb.”

The climbers decided they would retrace their steps at daybreak, but their loved ones had already contacted authorities who found the hikers around noon Sunday.

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It’s the second major rescue on the North Shore in the last 10 days. Recently, eight climbers were retrieved from The Lions. On Saturday, volunteers from Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue air lifted a camper with serious head injuries from Golden Ears Park.

“Most of the teams start to see an upturn in activities around the May long weekend. People have been waiting for this most of the winter and they like to get out there and do things and that’s when search and rescue gets called,” says Rick Laing of Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue.