‘I just stomped out SOS’: Alberta hiker saved by B.C. remote satellite camera technology

Click to play video 'Edmonton man aids in his own backcountry rescue with help of B.C. trailcam technology' Edmonton man aids in his own backcountry rescue with help of B.C. trailcam technology
WATCH ABOVE: A B.C. company played a key role in the rescue of a hiker in central Alberta earlier this week. The Edmonton man was on a camping trip when he got lost near Rocky Mountain House. But as Kristen Robinson reports, a piece of B.C. technology allowed him to get his own rescue in motion – Mar 23, 2019

Delta’s Nupoint Systems has hundreds of remote viewer satellite camera systems installed across North America, and last weekend the technology saved a hiker lost in the Alberta foothills.

Government bodies, including B.C. Wildfire and Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, are among the B.C. company’s clients.

“Our camera works down at minus 40 with no heater,” Nupoint Systems president and CEO Wayne Carlson told Global News.

“We can run off a battery we can run off solar panel indefinitely.”

Earlier this week, the unique technology’s grit paid off during a rugged rescue west of Rocky Mountain House in west-central Alberta.

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On March 13, Adam Nichols and his dog began hiking from Highway 11 near the Cline River to Pinto Lake on a camping trip. The pair ended up arriving late on March 16 — for what was supposed to be a four-day trek.

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“I was planning on making it there on the third day, so I was running out of time,” Nichols said.

Unable to make it back to their vehicle due to dwindling supplies, the Edmonton man and his canine companion hunkered down in the backcountry at Pinto Lake.

Fortunately, Nichols eventually spotted an Alberta forestry camera near a trail. He decided to make tracks in the snow — in the hopes technology would transmit his message.

“I just stomped out ‘SOS’ in front of it, so that someone would see that,” Nichols said.

He was due back in Edmonton on March 17, but wouldn’t make it.

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Carlson said several people on the Nupoint Systems’ distribution list for that particular remote camera received an email with the SOS picture attached.

“It’s absolutely clever of him to stamp out SOS in front of a camera that he saw,” said Carlson.

The SOS Edmonton hiker Adam Nichols stamped out in the snow at Pinto Lake west of Rocky Mountain House. Global News

One of the recipients realized the March 18 alert meant someone was in trouble and immediately called police.

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Rocky Mountain House RCMP sent a chopper to the area while tasking the local search and rescue team.

“It’s not a way we usually get deployed,” Rocky Mountain House Search & Rescue president Edward van Heeren said.

“He was really quite lucky. He had no other means of communication with him to you know, send for help.”

Nichols and his dog were uninjured and airlifted back to the trailhead where they began their hike. Nichols is grateful that his SOS signature was received — thanks to the activation of B.C. developed technology.

“I’m glad that they checked it and it was able to help with getting me out quickly.”

Rocky Mountain House RCMP say the event is a reminder to be adequately prepared for back country excursions, and to preferably have a locating device in the event a rescue is required.

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