North Shore Rescue issues stern hiking warning for long weekend

Jul 29 2016, 3:05 pm

North Shore Rescue has issued a stern warning to people who are planning to hike some of the local trails this long weekend.

The team at NSR says it’s important to plan properly before venturing out into the wilderness, and many people don’t take advanced-level trails seriously when organizing themselves for a hike.

“The wilderness is not forgiving, and there is a real possibility you might die, or search and rescue personnel might die trying to get to you, if you are not prepared,” writes North Shore Rescue’s Curtis Jones in a blog post.

Jones uses Saint Marks Summit as an example. He says he recently spotted several people planning to hike this advanced trail without the proper footwear, without having done any research, and armed with little more than a water bottle.

“This level of negligence is something we see regularly on the Grouse Grind, and it is not ok even there, but to see it heading into the Cypress backcountry left me feeling frustrated and defeated,” he writes.

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In the last two years, Jones says the team has responded to many preventable rescues where people were “woefully underprepared,” including one family who put plastic bags over their street shoes in the snow to catch a sunset on Saint Marks Summit. The big problem? They forgot flashlights for the way back.

“PS they could have all died, they got lucky. Since this call, we have responded to MANY more calls in this area for underprepared hikers,” Jones adds.

He mentions that accidents do happen to even the most prepared hikers, but they aren’t the target of his post.

North Shore Rescue’s Mike Danks recently told Daily Hive that they’ve attended to 70 rescues so far this year, which is an unusually high number this early on in the season. Last year, they broke records with 139 rescues total.

Earlier this month, NSR crews rescued four different groups of people in one weekend.

The team recommends reading their blog post in full before going hiking, as well as making sure you’re prepared with the 10 essentials:

  • A flashlight or headlamp
  • A signalling device like a whistle
  • A fire starter, like matches or a lighter
  • Extra clothes such as toques, sweater, socks, and fleece
  • A pocket knife
  • Some shelter, like a thermal tarp
  • Water and food (Gatorade crystals and energy bars recommended)
  • A first aid kit
  • A compass or GPS system
  • Your cell phone