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Hiker lost south of Kelowna since Saturday found by search and rescue crews

According to police, Aaron Rempel, 24, went hiking with a partner at Little White Mountain on Saturday, with the two becoming separated. Submitted

A hiker lost south of Kelowna since Saturday was found by search and rescue crews on Monday.

Kelowna RCMP say Aaron Rempel, 24, went missing on Little White Mountain on Saturday.

According to police, Rempel went hiking with a partner, with the two becoming separated and Rempel not making it back to the vehicle.

Police commended “Central Okanagan Search and Rescue for their tireless efforts in finding him.”

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Police say they were informed of the missing hiker just before 6:30 p.m., on Saturday.

Little White Mountain is located south of Kelowna, between Chute Lake and Highway 33.

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Kelowna RCMP said search efforts, including Central Okanagan Search and Rescue plus RCMP aircraft, searched well into the night, and then again on Sunday, but had yet to locate him.

Police believe Rempel isn’t injured, and that search efforts resumed Monday morning.

They added he was hiking off the KVR on Little White Mountain in the area of the Bellevue trestle-Boulderfields when he became separated.

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According to officials, Rempel, described as extremely fit, bushwhacked his way around the south slope of Little White Mountain and made his way to the KVR on Monday afternoon.

On the KVR, he made his way to Trestle 8, where his cries for help were heard by cyclists.

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They say Rempel was treated by search and rescue medics before being transported by ambulance to Kelowna General Hospital.

COSAR said Rempel was tired and hungry, but reasonably well hydrated, as he had been drinking from streams during his journey. He was also lightly outfitted for what was supped to be a day trip, with a sweater and jacket, water and some food.

COSAR said members searched throughout the night on Saturday until 4 a.m., before resuming at 5:30 a.m. on Sunday.

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On Monday, COSAR was joined by search teams from Penticton, Oliver and Osoyoos, the Shuswap, Vernon, and the local civilian air search-and-rescue team. A police helicopter and dog team were also involved in the search.

“All of the search teams were extremely happy he was found safe and sound,” said search manager Kevin Birnie. “That’s what we live for.

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“He was a strong, smart young man and he did a lot of things right, but he made a few mistakes. Even though he was only expecting to be out for a day hike unexpected things happen.

“Always file a trip plan be prepared with sufficient food and water and the ability to make a fire.”

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