RCMP urging outdoor enthusiasts to be prepared

A 27-year-old Edmonton mountain biker who went missing in the back country is prompting the Rocky Mountain House RCMP to remind outdoor enthusiasts to make better choices.

Photo by JEFF STOKOE/Advocate staff

Photo by JEFF STOKOE/Advocate staff

A 27-year-old Edmonton mountain biker who went missing in the back country is prompting the Rocky Mountain House RCMP to remind outdoor enthusiasts to make better choices.

On Sunday, four Edmonton and area men were mountain biking on the Landslide Lake Trail, 40 kms west of Nordegg. Around 7 p.m. three of the men decided to turn back because it was getting cold and they were tired. The 27-year-old, who was wearing shorts and a T-shirt, decided to continue to the top. He told the group he would meet them at the staging area. When the mountain biker had not returned at 1:15 a.m. on Monday, the group reported thim missing.

Because darkness had already set, the RCMP waited until 7 a.m. before the search could begin. RCMP enlisted the help of the Rocky Mountain House Search and Rescue and an RCMP helicopter from Edmonton. About 15 people were involved in the rescue operation.

RCMP Cpl. Wayne Howse said the area is extremely treacherous with steep drops on both sides of the trails in certain areas. Search and rescue crews spent hours on foot and in the air scouring for the missing mountain biker. Around 1:15 p.m., the man was found uninjured on the Cline River Trail. He had spent the night with hikers at a campsite in Landslide Lake.

“Stick together,” said Howse. “That’s exactly what I told him. We discussed the choices he made. You can’t always think about yourself in those type of situations.”

Howse said the man was not properly dressed or prepared for the environment. Howse would not name the mountain biker who he said was “somewhat sheepish.”

“I think he is embarrassed enough,” said Howse.

Howse could not estimate the cost of the search and rescue mission. However, he said, perhaps if they started billing people in these type of situations they would make better decisions.

crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com