VERNON —; It could have been a long, cold and dangerous night in the dark woods for some tourists visiting the Sovereign Lake area on Sunday.
They were snowshoeing in the area when they got lost; luckily, they had cell service and were able to call 9-1-1.
Vernon Search and Rescue (SAR) was called shortly before 5 p.m. by RCMP with a report of three lost snowshoers on Silverstar Mountain.
“Turns out there was four of them and they were fortunate RCMP were able to ping the cellphone of one of them to find their location,” says Leigh Pearson with Vernon SAR.
However, finding their location was a bit of a challenge, Pearson says it took about an hour and a half to locate the missing snowshoers.
“Once we had them, it took about another half an hour to forty minutes or so to get them back into where we had our command set up at Sovereign Lakes,” says Pearson.
They were taken to hospital for precaution but aside from being cold, the tourists, believed to be from China, were uninjured.
Pearson says the group of four got lost after wandering away from the trail.
“They were in the thick of it, they tried to do a little bit of bushwhacking, they went off trail which is what got them into trouble and it was really thick, there was just a ton of snow up there,” says Pearson.
Pearson advises anyone out on the mountain should stay on the marked trails and to be prepared for the conditions. He also suggests pacing yourself to avoid becoming soaked with sweat and overworking yourself.
“Once you’re damp and wet, you can’t warm up, you just cant. The only way to warm up is through dry clothes and of course they didn’t have any,” says Pearson.
He says 16 SAR members were involved in the search.