Danish hiker dies in Wells Gray Park

Member of a group from an outdoor school succumbs to her injuries following a fall near Azure Lake

Clearwater RCMP report that on Friday, June 17, at close to 11 p.m, Emergency Health Services contacted the detachment to report an injured hiker near Azure Lake, which is located about 90 km north of Clearwater in Wells Gray Park.

Azure Lake MapA Danish outdoor school group of 20 teachers, instructors and guides had been hiking near Huntley Col, which has steep and slippery terrain. At around 4:30 p.m., a 30-year-old female lost her footing, slid five meters and then fell off a cliff, free falling for 30 meters.

A male from the group hiked five hours to the group’s camp and then paddled several hours to reach a satellite phone to summon assistance.

Joint Rescue Coordination Centre, Provincial Emergency Program and Wells Gray Search and Rescue were advised of the file.

Due to nightfall, rescue efforts could not start until daylight. Arrangements were made for a military helicopter with long-line rescue capability out of Comox to arrive in the morning.

During the night the injured hiker succumbed to her injuries. The hiker was removed by helicopter from the mountain Saturday morning and was transported to Kamloops.

The Danish police were advised of the sudden death and notified the family.

The identity of the hiker has not been released.

The coroner out of Merritt was advised of the file and will continue the investigation in Kamloops.

According to Clearwater RCMP, the Danish outdoor school is an experienced outdoor/backcountry group. The death of one of their students is viewed as an unfortunate accident and is not considered suspicious.

Inset: Map shows the location of Azure Lake in Wells Gray Park. Huntley Col is a saddle between two mountains north of the west end of the lake. Google Maps image

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