VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Mounties have confirmed a snowshoer who had been missing since Thursday afternoon was found dead Friday morning.
The 21-year-old, identified as Nikki Donnelly on social media, made a distress call to her boyfriend in Toronto around 3:20 p.m. Thursday when she was having difficulties on the steep terrain near Cypress Mountain Resort.
He was the one who alerted search crews.
“Throughout the course of the evening the search was handed over to the Squamish RCMP due to jurisdiction while North Shore Rescue alongside Lions Bay Search and Rescue looked for the missing woman,” says Sgt. Sascha Banks with the Squamish RCMP.
The search for the woman resumed on Friday morning. Mounties say she was located in a steep drainage area on the east side of the Howe Crest Trail on Friday, just after 10:30 a.m.
The snowshoer is the fifth person to die in B.C.’s backcountry since Dec. 29.
“We have seen far too much tragedy already in the Sea to Sky Corridor this year,” Banks says. “Please know this: if you are in the backcountry and need help call 911, ourselves and our very experienced search teams will do everything we can to find you. As well before you leave, please: research your area, take all the equipment you need, know your skill level, follow weather patterns, know snow conditions, and have a trip plan.”
North Shore Rescue used its Talon helicopter with night vision to try to locate the woman Thursday, with help from an RCMP chopper as well. After the weather took a turn, NSR’s Allan McMordie said air support was grounded and crews were left to search on foot for the rest of the night.
.@NSRescue still trying to find a missing hiker. She called for help at 3:20p saying she was lost/needed help on St. Mark's Summit. Crews on the ground/flying above using new night vision technology. NSR's second call of the day. BG: https://t.co/AVweP706Se
— Sonia Aslam (@SoniaSAslam) January 15, 2021
-with files from Kareem Gouda