An Australian hiker who tragically died on a Canadian hiking trail is said to have slipped on a steep section of the “challenging” terrain.
Julia-Mary Lane, 24, was reported missing Tuesday morning (AEST) by her roommate after she stopped responding to messages while walking along Bear Lake Trail, in British Columbia, on Saturday.
Her family confirmed her death Wednesday morning after the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) deployed sniffer dogs and drones to locate her body.
Just two days before her disappearance, on June 8, she posted to a local Facebook group asking for advice on nearby hiking trails.
She wrote that she was concerned about hiking alone and would rather hike in a group because of the risk of bears in the area.
Julia-Mary Lane, 24, allegedly slipped on a steep section of ‘challenging’ terrain while hiking and died
Ms. Lane said she was visiting the area from Canmore, just west of Calgary, and would “like any moderate to challenging hike.”
“I’ve been hiking in Canmore and the surrounding national parks for the past few months, so I’m fairly experienced, like scramble, fine with steeps and scree, can go at a decent pace, and quite like going downhill now and then to run. ‘
Many in the Facebook group mourned Ms Lane after news of her death broke.
“So sad was hoping for a better outcome for the family and friends,” one user wrote.
“You left this world doing what filled your heart and nourished your passions,” said another.
“May you rest in paradise.”
Among the tributes were her former classmates from Our Lady of Mt Carmel School in Brisbane’s Coorparoo.
“She was very smart, sporty and easy-going,” said a former classmate.
“She always smiled.”
Julia-Mary Lane, 24, was reported missing Tuesday morning (AEST) by her roommate after she stopped responding to messages on Saturday while walking along Bear Lake Trail, in British Columbia (pictured)
RCMP Corporal James Grandy described the death as ‘not suspicious’ as it appeared she was alone at the time of the tragedy.
“She was alone, it seems, and just on pretty steep terrain,” Corporal Grandy said.
“Looks like it was by accident.”
The RMCP located Ms Lane’s SUV parked at the start of the trail and deployed sniffer dogs and drones to locate her body.
The trail is rated as a ‘challenging’ hike according to online hiking reference All Trails.
“Generally regarded as a challenging route, this is a popular route for backpacking, camping, and hiking,” the website reads.
“Bear Lake Trail is a steep but short hike with spectacular views from the saddle and peaks.”
The operation to recover Mrs Lane’s body took hours as the RCMP had to traverse the steep terrain.
Just two days before her disappearance, June 8, Ms Lane posted a message to a local Facebook group asking for advice on nearby hiking trails
Ms Lane completed high school in 2015 before earning a double degree in business management and science from the University of Queensland.
She had spent time studying abroad in Dublin and Shanghai in 2019 before joining Deloitte Digital as a consultant in 2021 while living in Brisbane.
She had recently moved to Canada in January, where she moved in with roommate Janet Hamilton, who was the first to notify Mrs. Lane’s family and the local community of her disappearance.
“Thank you everyone in this wonderful community for all your help and support over the past two days in the search for Julia-Mary,” she said of Ms Lane’s death.
“I’m honored to have spent time with her this past week, as she was a joy to be around.”
Ms Lane’s brother, Conor, echoed the same sentiment when he took to Facebook on Wednesday: “We’ve lost our beautiful girl.”
Please allow us 24 hours to process this sad news.
“Thanks to the community for your prompt response and tremendous support.”