NORTH VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Extra volunteers have been brought on board by North Shore Rescue as the team gears up for, what it calls, a very busy summer season. That’s been highlighted by a few rescues this Victoria Day long weekend.
However, crews are running into some challenges as they deal with snow and icy conditions on the local mountains.
The new members are being trained up, as the spring and summer seasons tend to be busier in terms of rescue operations, compared to the winter.
North Shore Rescue Team Leader Mike Danks says with temperatures suddenly warming up – it’s making rescue operations tricky. “There is still a significant snowpack in the backcountry. There have been a number of slides that have happened in the backcountry, so you still need to have your avalanche equipment with you.”
He adds people often think the weather is nice but the fear is they can become complacent. “Once you step foot into the mountains and you get off trail, you’re in real serious terrain. People need to prepare for those conditions. As we always really try to stress, it’s the minimum 10 essentials you need to take.”
Those tools include a flashlight, a fire starter, extra clothes, shelter, food and a satellite device that allows you to call for help without needing a cell signal.
He adds a lot of people seem to get stuck because they want to watch the sunset from the top of the mountain, for example, but then forget to bring a light source and can’t make it back down.
North Shore Rescue says calls have increased for the volunteer group over the past few years by at least 30 per cent.
Meantime, the opening of the Grouse Grind has been delayed because of leftover winter conditions.
— Metro Vancouver (@MetroVancouver) May 22, 2017