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Toronto Woman, 21, Dies Hiking in B.C. Mountains

Despite an extensive overnight search, crews were unable to locate the missing hiker until the morning

A 21-year-old Ontario woman, Nikki Donnelly, who went missing Thursday while snowshoeing in the North Shore Mountains near Vancouver has been found dead.

Squamish RCMP said Friday that a North Shore Rescue crew located Donnelly at about 10:40 a.m. PT in a steep drainage area on the east side of the Howe Sound Crest Trail, below St. Mark’s Summit.

The crew flew Donnelly by helicopter back to their base, where she was pronounced dead.Β “Our thoughts are with the woman’s family and friends, as well with all the responders and search teams to the St. Mark’s area last night and today,” Sgt. Sascha Banks said in a statement.

Donnelly failed to return from her solo trip to St. Mark’s Summit in Cypress Provincial Park on Thursday and crews began their search at around 5 p.m., but couldn’t locate her through the night.

North Shore Rescue team leader Mike Danks said the search was resumed in the morning. Donnelly had phoned her boyfriend in Toront from the summit and then on the descent.

“She ended up calling him back shortly after and saying that she was lost and in distress, and then the call dropped,” said Danks.Β Squamish RCMP will work the BC Coroners Service to investigate the woman’s death.

Weather and conditions were snowy, rainy and miserable overnight. It’s advised that anyone in need of help in the backcountry phone 911.

Based on Donnelly’s social media, she had been travelling around Alberta and B.C. over the last few months to ski, hike and ice climb.

Our condolences to Donnelly’s family and friends.