VANCOUVER - A hiker on the North Shore who had been missing since Wednesday has been found alive.
Tom Teng, 25, was found Thursday afternoon on a logging road by a work crew who picked him up and informed search and rescue. Crews said he was found in "remarkable" condition considering he had spent the night outdoors. Teng said he is tired and thankful the experience is over.
"It's really hard to survive, and I would say it's really, really cold," he said.
Teng said he did his best to keep his extremities warm and used a blanket to cover his feet.
Teng spent the night in the cold after separating from his hiking partner on Wednesday. Search and rescue crews said he was wearing a jacket and carrying a small bag but was not prepared to spend the night outdoors. He did not have a headlamp, flashlight or any food.
"He was very, very lucky," said Martin Colwell with Lions Bay Search and Rescue. "Most normal searches we probably wouldn't have gone this far south that soon. It's just we wanted to do it in this one day and it took a lot of effort to make that happen, but it worked."
Teng's phone battery had also died, and he wasn't carrying a map or compass.
Two helicopters and dozens of search and rescue volunteers from across Metro Vancouver went out to search for Teng in challenging terrain. He had been hiking with a friend near Mount Unnecessary when the pair split up so the man could hike the West Lion on his own. The plan was for him to return to Cypress Bowl via the Howe Sound Crest Trail, but he never arrived, prompting his hiking partner to report him missing.
Search crews from Lions Bay Search and Rescue and North Shore Rescue looked for Teng on the ground while RCMP searched for Teng from the air in a helicopter using night-vision goggles.
Temperatures in Lions Bay early Thursday morning were hovering around freezing.
Teng ended up walking away from where crews were looking for him, which is something search and rescue groups advise against since a moving target is harder to find. They also strongly warn against hiking alone.
With files from Luisa Alvarez.
An unprepared hiker is lost near Lions Bay. Crews have been searching for him since last night by ground an air. Two helicopters and dozens of SAR volunteers will resume the search this morning. https://t.co/ZEKnQQPjHd @LionsBaySAR @NSRescue @CTVVancouver @CTVMorningLive pic.twitter.com/6kXijMGSZr— Sheila Scott (@Sheila_Scott) October 31, 2019
A man in his 20s is missing after separating from his hiking partner after hiking Mount Unnecessary Weds night. @LionsBaySAR is in charge of the search. @NSRescue have also been called in as mutual aid. A helicopter and up to 30-40 extra search crews requested. @CTVVancouver pic.twitter.com/S2dnVpXAHT— Jordan Jiang (@J___Squared) October 31, 2019