British Columbia

8 calls for help keep North Shore Rescue busy on B.C. Family Day

'I think that is our busiest day to date,' said team leader Mike Danks.

'I think that is our busiest day to date,' says team leader Mike Danks

North Shore attend to an injured snowshoer on Mount Seymour on Monday. (North Shore Rescue/Facebook)

North Shore Rescue crews were kept busy on B.C. Family Day with eight calls for help, including one on Crown Mountain that required a helicopter rescue the following morning. 

Team leader Mike Danks said he believes it was the organization's "busiest day to date."

"One got solved very quickly ... but some pretty significant injuries on three different mountains," he said.

North Shore Rescue crews during one of three rescues they performed on B.C. Family Day. (North Shore Rescue/Facebook)

3 snowshoers helicoptered out

Six of the calls turned into significant operations for rescue teams:

  • The first rescue began shortly after noon when crews responded to a male snowshoer who had fallen and dislocated his shoulder. Rescuers weren't able to stabilize his injuries and called for a helicopter to lift him out. 
  • Shortly after, another helicopter was required to fly out an injured snowshoer from between Second and Third Pump peaks on Mt. Seymour. The man had sustained multiple injuries to his leg and ankle.
  • A few hours later, another injured snowshoer needed a helicopter rescue after suffering a knee injury on Hollyburn Peak. 
  • Crews were also called out Monday afternoon to a rescue at Quarry Rock. 
  • Shortly after 7:15 p.m. PT, NSR tweeted about personal locator beacon activated near Crown Mountain, which led to a planned rescue of two snoweshoers in Hanes Valley 
  • Another call came in just after 8 p.m. PT for someone with an ankle injury on Grouse Mountain. 

Half of the rescues involved snowshoers. 

"Walking in snowshoes is not like walking in your running shoes," said Greg Miller of North Shore Rescue. 

"You have to lift your feet up high and it's easy when you're tired to trip on them."

He said the recent clear weather has left many backcountry areas with hard, crusty snow that often leads to snowshoe injuries. 

Miller said all of the snowshoers were properly equipped for the conditions, but said many outside enjoying the sunny Family Day weather were not. 

"We saw other people on the trails today in running shoes. You need to have microspikes to head up in this kind of weather."