Rescue Operation Launched After Google Maps Leads Hikers to Nowhere

( – North Shore Rescue, a search-and-rescue team in Canada, recently managed to rescue two hikers who were lost in the forests of British Columbia.

The hikers lost their way after following a trail they found on Google Maps – despite the fact that the trail did not exist to begin with.

Rescuers airlifted the hikers from a precarious location they found themselves stranded in – a steep area filled with cliffs found north of north of Mount Fromme. Rescuers said that the hikers had apparently ignored multiple signs posted that warned of misleading paths that led to dangerous cliffs, and did not even bother to bring lights with them, making their navigation even more difficult. This is not the first time hikers have been lost in the area – a similar rescue mission was launched a few months ago, and a person fell to his death in the same spot just two years ago after getting stranded and failing to hang on.

Hikers who want to brave the British Columbia forest are encouraged to use paper maps and compasses instead of using digital street maps like Google Maps, which have proven to be immensely unreliable in those kinds of environments. However, there are some apps specifically designed for trails, such as CalTopo and Gaia GPS, which can be used by hikers.

North Shore Rescue said that it has been successful in having the non-existent trail removed from Google Maps. Previously, it showed a trail heading north from Mount Fromme’s summit towards the Kennedy Falls area, which rescuers say is “extremely steep and dangerous terrain.”

A spokesperson for the American Hiking Society, Maggie Peikon, said that researching the trails first is essential for every hiker. That way, she says, hikers know what to expect in terms of distance, terrain, and elevation gain, and know what kind of supplies to bring.

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