Following the notification of his next of kin, RCMP have released the identity of the hiker found dead on Monday, March 24: 37-year-old Zhi Yong Lai of China.
According to the RCMP, Lai was one of six hikers to snowshoe up the Rubble Creek trail into Garibaldi Provincial Park to camp overnight. He became separated from the group on the way down. After waiting almost two hours at the trailhead his party contacted the RCMP. A search was launched immediately, and at 1 a.m. Monday searchers found Lai’s backpack. The search continued until 3:30 a.m. before being called off until first light later in the morning.
With a helicopter joining searchers Monday morning, a ground crew found Lai’s body just after 10 a.m. near the area where his backpack was located.
The body has been sent to Vancouver General Hospital for an autopsy, but early indications suggest he may have succumbed to hypothermia.
The last time Lai was seen alive by a member of his party was at 4 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. He was making his way downhill on the opposite side of Rubble Creek from the trail.
Lai had been working in Vancouver for the past year and was due to fly back to China to visit family on the day his body was found.