TWO tourists are safely out of the backcountry after biting off more than they could chew on Grouse Mountain Sunday.
North Shore Rescue and North Vancouver RCMP members worked together to pinpoint two women who wandered several kilometres east of their destination.
The hikers, both Korean visitors in their early 20s, had intended to do the Grouse Grind on Sunday but took a wrong turn and wound up on the Baden Powell Trail. The two were moving eastward for about three hours when they veered off the trail and called for help.
The only way the two had of communicating that they were in trouble was with their Korean cellphones, making for a complicated rescue. Once their 9-1-1 call was patched through to North Shore Rescue, there was another problem - a language barrier.
"Working with the RCMP, a Korean police officer interpreted for us and we were able to piece together where they might be because we didn't have a lot of info to go on," said Doug Pope, NSR search manager.
"We weren't able to talk to them directly. We weren't able to get any position information or GPS location from their phones. We were only able to rely on getting very small bits and pieces about where they were."
Once they had some good leads on the lost adventurers' possible whereabouts, NSR sent out four field teams from the top of Skyline Drive to look in the areas around Mackay Creek and Mosquito Creek.
"Based on previous history, when someone gets lost off the Baden Powell, those are two very likely areas we might find lost people in," Pope said.
They key to finding them was a description of a steep rockface the pair scrambled down with the help of rope hand lines. Using loud hailers, team members scoured the two known areas with hand lines, and found them within an hour. Volunteers then walked the tired hikers out.
"The most important thing was getting them the message to stop where they were," Pope said. "They were safe where they were, but they would have been in danger if they had continued because they were hiking almost five hours."
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