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(UPDATE: Jan. 15 @ 5:25 pm) - The search for a 21-year-old woman who went missing while snowshoeing on Cypress Mountain on Thursday has come to a tragic end.
North Shore Rescue and other search and rescue groups searched tirelessly for the missing snowshoer until around 2 am before resuming the search at first light today.
Unfortunately, her body was found by NSR around 10:40 am in a steep drainage area on the east side of the Howe Crest Trail.
She's now been identified as Nikki Donnelly from Ontario.
"Our thoughts are with the woman's family and friends, as well with all the responders and search teams to the St. Marks area last night and today," said Sgt. Sascha Banks.
"We have seen far too much tragedy already in the Sea to Sky Corridor this year."
Donnelly's untimely death is just another example of how dangerous BC's backcountry can be, especially at this time of year.
"If you are in the backcountry and need help, stop and call 911, ourselves and our very experienced search teams will do everything we can to find you," added Banks.
"Before you leave, please research your area, take all the equipment you need, know your skill level, follow weather patterns, know snow conditions and have a trip plan."
According to CTV, Donnelly phoned her boyfriend after getting lost on Thursday instead of 911 shortly before her phone died.
It's believed that rescuers would have had a much better chance of finding her before sundown if she had called 911 instead of her boyfriend.
The Squamish RCMP and BC Coroners Service will work together on the investigation to determine all the facts surrounding the young woman's death.
(Original story: Jan. 15 @ 11 am) - The search for a missing 21-year-old woman continues on Cypress Mountain today.
North Shore Rescue (NSR) was called out to search for Nikki around 5 pm on Thursday after she didn’t return from a snowshoeing expedition on the popular St. Marks trail.
NSR has been called out for a lost hiker on the St Marks trail.Posted by North Shore Rescue on Thursday, January 14, 2021
Brand new night-vision helicopter technology allowed crews to be dropped into the field after dark on Thursday, but searchers were unable to locate Nikki.
The search resumed at first light today and there’s now more information available on the missing person.
Talon Helicopters on route to St Marks with NSR members on board and ready to be dropped off in the field.Posted by North Shore Rescue on Thursday, January 14, 2021
Nikki is described as a 5’3” Asian woman with medium-length dark hair who was wearing a black jacket.
NSR also shared a photo of the snowshoeing equipment that she had with her, which has sparked some hope that she was prepared enough to hunker down overnight.
NSR is asking anyone who was at Cypress yesterday hiking the Howe Sound Crest Trail to St Marks if they saw 21 year old...Posted by North Shore Rescue on Friday, January 15, 2021
While the search is ongoing, rescuers are also hoping to get more information from witnesses that could help them pinpoint a more specific location to look for Nikki.
NowMedia will update this story as more information becomes available.