Craig Drysdale is back home, after spending two nights in the wilderness near Grande Prairie.
The 28 year old was quadding with friends in an area 25 kilometres southeast of the city off of the Canfor haul road Thursday night when he got separated from the group. Drysdale tells police that he then backtracked, and when his quad no longer worked, he continued on foot. He reportedly crossed some train tracks and walked along a trail he believed would lead back to his truck, but after some time, he didn’t feel right and turned back and went in the other direction.
He lit a small fire in a densely treed area for the night, and in the morning, he walked and came across the Wapiti River, which he followed to a trapper’s cabin. He spent Friday night there, drying his clothes and eating a can of chicken noodle soup he found.
Drysdale continued walking along the river Saturday, when he was found by an ERSD helicopter around 3 p.m. He was taken back to the command post, where it was determined that he was both in good health and good spirits.
Several other agencies helped in the search, including GP Technical Search and Rescue, Grande Cache and Valleyview SAR personnel, Grovedale Fire, which searched using a boat, Officer Josh Radvansky from Fish and Wildlife, who gave bear safety briefings and dealt with a cougar, and Viewworks, which donated a helicopter and pilot. The search teams were also helped by Highland Helicopter, Constable Zaplachinski with Police Dog Services, RCMP Air Services, Amateur Radio Emergency Services, as well as the community of Grovedale with more than 150 volunteers on horseback and on foot and other provisions, and Jessica Kappel, who helped organize volunteers.