GREAT HARBOUR DEEP, Nfld. (CP) -- There's only a slim chance that a hiker from Montreal, missing in western Newfoundland's Long Range Mountains for more than a week, will be found alive, the RCMP's district commander said Monday.
"The weather is down on us and search activity is just not going to happen," said Staff Sgt. Dave Daley. "We have high winds -- too high for helicopter use -- and we're getting some snow."
The ground search for the 29-year-old hiker was called off Sunday but an air search will resume when the weather clears, Daley said.
"We'll go into a more passive mode now," he said. "We don't know where to go and look anymore ... (but) miracles have happened."
Daley said the hiker, whose name wasn't released, is thought to have survival training and could still be wandering somewhere in the forests and bogs halfway up the island's Northern Peninsula.
The hiker, a landed immigrant from Ukraine, was part of a group of six hikers who were attempting to complete a gruelling 65-kilometre trek from Blue Mountain to Great Harbour Deep.
The group -- three men, two women and a three-year-old boy -- set off on their hike Oct. 11. They had made it about two-thirds of the way to their destination by Oct. 18 when there was a disagreement over which way to go.
Two men left the group to scout a new route but only one came back.
The Mountie said the hikers had relied on the Internet for their information, but much of it was out of date. For example, they were unaware that Great Harbour Deep -- a remote outport with no road link -- was in the process of being resettled.
Long Range Mountains on Web: