So we started up the skin-track and hit the Victoria/Royal junction fairly quickly. Not but shortly thereafter we stopped for a quick snack/water break and we here a "guys!" from somebody calling from up the track in the trees. We quickly skinned up and found an older gentleman leaning up against a tree. With him being cold, scared, and starting to get disoriented we quickly started to assess the situation. His name was Don and he had been on a day hike from his new home in Frisco. Don had also informed us that he had already called Search and Rescue and that they were on they way up. Shortly his phone rang and it was S&R who were just getting assembled at the TH. We briefed them on the situation and told them we would wait with and help Don until they reached us. After talking to Don more, he told us that he had planned on just hiking the Mt. Royal trail but once he got up here he figured that he would just push on to the summit of Victoria. By the time we had encountered him he was on his way down from the highest point he had reached, which ended up being about 500 yards from the summit. At age 66 he had blood all over his coat from a small superficial cut on his wrist that he got from sliding down the mountain on his ass, his hands were two blocks of ice because all he had were old frozen wool gloves, and he was starting to shake pretty bad. He had a fanny pack with food/water, but he had but only drank a few sips of water throughout the day and only a bite or two of a granola bar. Dehydrated, hungry, and cold we proceeded by cleaning up his cut and giving him plenty of food, water, and extra layers while at the same time doing our secondary assessment of him and the situation. We also ended up walking him down the track about 25 yards to some sunshine and it was there we waited for S&R. He told us that he had been following the skin-track up and that he ran into a skier that told him to "keep going, your not far from the summit". That gave him motivation to push onward, motivation that he didn't need. Not at his age with the gear that he had. He said that after not making it to the summit he was getting cold and decided to head down. In cotton socks and hiking boots Don was apparently not going to have the easiest of times as he said he was post-holing all over. He then switched to sliding on his ass down the slope. We ended up seeing his tracks after we continued on and you could see his butt sliding track veering off and on the skin-track through the trees. We initially came into contact with Don a little past 1oclock. With the day winding down quickly, he was lucky to have ended up on the skin-track before he decided to stop and call S&R. If not then he could very easily have veered off-trail and had one hell of a different story coming out of this. Anyways, it wasn't too long afterward that Fritz and Frank come up the skin-track on their lap 2. Fritz ended up having an awesome mummy style e-blanket that he so kindly pulled out of his pack and we wrapped Don up. On a side-note, that blanket was awesome and I kind of want one now! Anyways, Fritz and Frank stayed with us for a little bit and then continued on as they knew things were under control. As Don started to warm up and regain his composure you could see the relief on his face and he was ever so grateful that we ran into him. It was about an hour and a half from our first contact with Don that the S&R guys made it up to us. We briefed them on the situation, helped them strap some snowshoes on Don, said our goodbyes and let them take it from there.
Things could have ended up a lot differently for Don, but we were all glad to have ran into him and that we were able to help!!
We ended up summiting Victoria a little after 4pm and enjoyed some great turns back into town!