British Columbia

Tips for staying safe on the mountains this winter

North Shore Rescue shares best practices for outdoor enthusiasts to stay safe in the snow

Seymour

B.C.'s North Shore mountains, including Mt. Seymour seen here, recently received their first dusting of snow for the ski season. (@Mt_Seymour/Twitter)

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Whether it's snowshoeing, skiing, or another outdoor activity on B.C.'s snowy mountains, search and rescue teams are reminding people exploring the backcountry to be prepared for the unexpected this winter after another hiker went missing on the North Shore mountains. 

North Shore Rescue's Mike Danks has some tips to keep outdoor enthusiasts safe and prepared in case they need to be rescued. 

  • Do the research on your excursion, making sure that the area is open and appropriate for your fitness level.
  • Let someone know where you're going, what time you're expected back, and when they should call for help. 
  • Go out in groups of two or more in case you get injured, and are left in no state to call for help.
  • Bring a light source. Danks says 90 per cent of overdue hikers fail to prepare for the dark.
  • If you get lost, stay put, stay warm, and make sure you're visible from the air.
  • Call for help early on. This will give rescuers more time to get you out while there's still daylight.
  • Even if you aren't receiving a signal on your cellphone, you can still call 9-1-1 since the system will activate any cell tower.
  • If you're in an area with no cell service at all, make sure you have a satellite phone to call for help. 
  • Make sure that you have all of your avalanche safety equipment, including a transceiver, probe, shovel, and the training on how to use it. 
  • Understand how to navigate through terrain in order to mitigate avalanche exposure. 

With files from The Early Edition

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