by Christina Myers
Province, Wednesday, August 28, 2002
The families of two missing Lower Mainland hikers have flown to the small
northern community of Kitimat to assist in the search.
Search and rescue crews have been combing the area around the Mount
Elizabeth hiking trail since 23-year-old Christina Huckvale of Vancouver and
20-year-old Christopher Markoff of Richmond failed to return from a trip to
the area Sunday morning.
The pair, who had been living in Kitimat for the summer working at the
local Alcan factory, are described as semi-experienced to experienced hikers,
police said yesterday.
Friends found the pair's black Volkswagen Golf at the base of the hiking
trail late Sunday after becoming worried that they hadn't yet returned.
"The terrain is not easy walking. The trail goes up to the peak, it's about
a 12-hour round trip," said Sgt. Linda Armstrong of the Kitimat RCMP.
"If they got off the beaten track, it can get very rough, with sheer drops
into the river and dry gulches."
Last night the search was suspended for the night. Armstrong said "there is
still a window of opportunity to find them alive."
She said the parents are aiding in the search. "Whatever we ask, they are
prepared to do."
The six-kilometre trail, about 25 kilometres outside of Kitimat, is
described as a "difficult" hike by B.C. Parks officials.
More than 40 people and a police dog have been searching the mountainous
area with the help of two helicopters to reach the peak.
Armstrong said that overnight temperatures in the area haven't been bad in
recent days and that the search began quickly thanks to pre-planning by the
"They told people where they were going, they told people when they would
be back, so somebody knew that something had gone wrong fairly quickly," she
Additional search and rescue crews from nearby Terrace are expected to join
the search today alongside local volunteers, said Armstrong.
Huckvale, a graduate of Magee Secondary School and a University of B.C.
student, was described yesterday by a Kerrisdale neighbour as "a lovely young woman."