14 hours ago
Hiking in the Kananaskis Provincial Park on Thursday afternoon/evening. We were just descending from Smutwood peak when we see a couple coming up to the summit after us. They had set up a tent near the lakes at the bottom left of this image (illegal in national and provincial parks to random camp overnight so they're being cheeky). All of a sudden we see a search and rescue helicopter come past and land near their tent. Two people in orange jackets get out and start walking over to the tent as the heli takes off again. It comes up above us, circles the peak, then lands here in the picture, perched on the ridge. Another person in orange gets out and the heli takes off again. He speaks to the couple and then to us. He explains that someone had set off a spot beacon and asked if it was ours. It wasn't, turns out it belonged to the couple and it was left in their tent. Somehow it had set off by accident, which isn't easy with emergency beacons, at least I'd thought. We thought they would cop a fine but in the end the search and rescue left and simply told them not to camp in the park. The whole experience was a surreal 10 minutes. If you're going to camp illegally, maybe it's best not to call out search and rescue to your tent!