A Penticton man was found after spending a night in the wilderness near Brent Mountain.
Shortly after 10:30 p.m. on April 25th, Penticton Search and Rescue (PSAR) received a missing person call from Penticton RCMP regarding a 19-year-old hiker who had gone on a day hike in the Brent Mountain area and didn’t return to the rendezvous point.
Weather conditions had been deteriorating all day and up to a foot of snow had fallen. Although the young male had taken some gear and was in good shape, searchers were aware that he was not prepared to stay overnight. With temperatures falling below freezing, search manager Richard Terry immediately mobilized crews to the area.
By early morning, with no signs of the hiker being located, a fixed-wing aircraft from CASARA joined the search along with a helicopter from Eclipse Helicopters, which was utilized to ferry search crews to the Brent Mountain area who began a sweep search from the mountain crest. Penticton SAR set up a Command Vehicle on Shingle Creek road to coordinate the 20-plus rescue personnel from both Penticton and Kelowna who had joined the search efforts along with local area ranchers and Penticton Indian Band members.
While the search teams continued their efforts in the mountain area, the young male hiker who PSAR said spent a cold and wet night outdoors walked out to a roadway near Apex Mountain shortly after 2 p.m. and called his family who alerted Police that he was safe.
PSAR said the young male had lost his way and when it was too late – found some shelter and hunkered down for the evening.
Although this event had a happy ending, Terry has some tips for those who venture to the outdoors:
- Have a plan – tell somewhere where you are going. Keep to the plan.
- Pack for the unexpected. Carry food and shelter.
- Check the weather. Plan for poor weather.
- Do not rely on cell phone and cell phone map or GPS apps. They do not always work and cell batteries die.
- Carry and use a compass
- If lost, stay in one place. Make a signal device to alert searchers.