Couple rescued from Sumas Mountain

An Abbotsford couple who set out for a sunny-day hike on Sumas Mountain had to be rescued Wednesday night after they got lost.

The 21-year-old woman and 22-year-old man left on the snowy hike at about noon. Abbotsford Police Const. Ian MacDonald said they had no provisions with them, except their cellphones and a flashlight.

At about 3:30 p.m., the pair lost their bearings and tried to use their phones to pinpoint their location.

One phone had no signal, and the other one had an intermittent signal but the battery was dying.

Just after 5:30 p.m., the couple reached 911, and the Abbotsford Police Department was dispatched to the scene. The Air 1 police helicopter was also called in, as was a team from Central Fraser Valley Search and Rescue, and a K9 unit.

MacDonald said rescuers spent 90 minutes trying to track down the pair. Sirens were blasted along the way so that the two could indicate as the sound drew closer.

MacDonald said the rescue was complicated by snow and ice in the area, making conditions treacherous by vehicle and foot.

The couple, who were cold and wet but otherwise OK, were located at about 7 p.m. in an area near the 5400 block of Sumas Mountain Road.

They were taken to hospital as a precautionary measure and were released.

"By their own admission, they weren't prepared," MacDonald said.

He said the cost of the rescue is not something being considered by rescuers.

"The people that are motivated to search for people … aren't motivated by an invoice in their pocket."



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