Rescuers used ropes to save unprepared hikers from treacherous slope near Vancouver

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VANCOUVER — Two hikers who were unprepared for the icy and treacherous conditions on Vancouver's North Shore mountains are unhurt, but searches say the two spent several uncomfortable hours awaiting rescue on Sunday.

North Shore Rescue says the men hopped a fence to scale a challenging but currently closed trail up the side of Grouse Mountain, but strayed off the steep path and into the restricted area of the Capilano watershed.

They became stuck on icy, snowy bluffs just above some cliffs and Scott Merriman with North Shore Rescue says by the time help arrived, one man was leaning on a tree while the second had grabbed some tree roots to avoid sliding any closer to the cliff edge.

In a social media post, rescue officials say the two had no plan, no appropriate winter equipment and poor cellphone capability.

Team members say the two were able to call 911, possibly saving their lives because searchers would have been unlikely to check that restricted area.

The hikers were walked out of the area just before 2 a.m. Monday and North Shore Rescue says the call, in rain, sleet and near freezing temperatures, was the third answered by the volunteer group Sunday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 15, 2021.

The Canadian Press