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Backcountry rescue prompts repeated warning about safety

Zoa Peak. (Courtesy Hope Search and Rescue)

Two separate backcountry rescues this weekend forces SAR teams to issue warning

HOPE (NEWS 1130) – Another warning from search and rescue teams to be careful if you’re going out into the backcountry, given the thick snowpack and freezing temperatures.

Members of the Hope SAR were called out this weekend after a skier got stranded on Zoa Peak off the Coquihalla Highway in the week hours of Saturday morning.

Hope SAR Manager Mario Levesque says they were able to reach the man just a few hours after he got stuck. He explains the skier was cold, but otherwise unhurt and he adds this is a great example of why it’s so important to plan ahead.

“Make sure that they have a trip plan basically, that someone knows where they are going. Stay as a group, stay together, and ski as slow as the slowest member.”

The other thing that helped crews get to the man as quickly as they did is the fact he stayed put. “It was good because the first thing he said was he bumped out, he stayed where he was and made himself a shelter in the snow. It’s basic survival.”
Levesque points out it’s also a good idea to bring snacks, extra clothing, and a flashlight.

The Coquitlam SAR team was also sent out on Saturday night to find a lost hiker in the Buntzen lake area. Several hours after they began their mission, crews located the 48-year-old man.