North Shore Rescue wants to have a talk with Vancouverites.
In a post on their website titled “It’s Not Summer” by search and rescue volunteer John Blown, he said he saw some “troubling things” on Wednesday from hikers, most notably inappropriately clothing.
He said he witnessed the following clothing and equipment choices from hikers on Mount Seymour:
- Lots of leather street shoes with zero tread
- Capri pants
- Vans and other skate shoes
- Cowboy boots
- Lots of running shoes – these are not appropriate for winter hiking
- Gum boots
- No back packs
- No jackets
- No gloves
- No micro-spikes or poles
- No toques
- No maps or knowledge of the trail
He also said he saw lots of cotton clothes, which are great for urban activities, but warns a wet cotton hoodie will be a surefire way to freeze to death in the mountains.
Blown describes the temperatures on Mount Seymour as “bone chilling cold” and it’s covered in compact snow, leaving the ground very slippery.
He said preparing properly includes an extensive checklist of proper clothing and equipment choices, including:
- Proper winter hiking boots
- Proper hiking non-cotton warm socks
- Non-cotton clothing – poly-pro etc.
- Change of base layer clothing for when it gets wet
- Parka jacket – aka puffy jacket
- Shell jacket
- Pants – non-cotton
- Gore-tex over pants
- Mittens and/or winter gloves
- Micro spikes
- Food and water
- Some first aid gear and navigation equipment – GPS, map etc.
Blown said this time last year, a hiker on 3rd Pump on Seymour almost died after a bad fall that left him with brain swelling, a collapsed lung, broken arm, and broken ribs.
Other things you can do to prepare for hikes is review your planned route, make sure you’re fit enough for the trail, always have a hiking partner, and never rely on your phone since coverage can be spotty at best.
Blown included the following recent photo of Mount Seymour in his post: