nikki donnelly

Toronto woman dies after being stranded on BC mountain overnight

Nikki Donnelly, a 21-year-old Toronto resident, was tragically found deceased by search and rescue crews on Friday after getting lost and spending the night in freezing temperatures on a mountain in B.C.

The young woman was snowshoeing the Howe Sound Crest Trail near Cypress Mountain Resort when she encountered some difficult terrain and made a distress call to her boyfriend back in Ontario at around 3:20 p.m. the day prior.

After the phone connection was lost, he contacted authorities, and North Shore Rescue was dispatched to find her in dark, inclement conditions that included high winds and freezing rain overnight.

The search by foot and air was eventually called off around 2 a.m. due to the weather, and resumed again at 7 a.m. this morning.

Donnelly, a solo traveller, was documenting her hike on social media, and had posted an Instagram story from the top of St. Mark's Summit on Thursday afternoon before getting stranded for nearly 24 hours.

Though helicopter crews finally located her about five kilometres from the resort on Friday afternoon, her condition was unknown. She was later pronounced dead after being transported to a medical centre nearby, Squamish RCMP confirmed in a statement to news media on Friday evening.

North Shore Search Manager Don Jardine told CTV News Vancouver that the trend of people venturing out on hikes and other potentially perilous activities beyond their skill level for the sake of social media posts is concerning.

"Doesn’t really matter how many photos they take, but sure would be nice if they went equipped and prepared," he said to the news outlet.

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