METRO VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Avalanches, deep snow, icy trails and high flowing streams: North Shore Rescue says there are more dangers lurking in the mountains than social media posts would have you believe.
The group warns about the social media affect driving unprepared hikers into the mountains, with bloggers suggesting hikes heading into the first weekend of spring.
But there aren’t enough hashtags in the world to prepare you for the real world conditions in snow and ice.
“Trails that many people are thinking would be great to do right now aren’t really safe,” says Search Manager Doug Pope. “Like Saint Mark’s, for example, Hollyburn, Goat Mountain and Crown Mountain are both enclosed areas and then even the Seymour Peak.”
The truth is hikers still need to steer clear of higher elevations due to conditions, Pope adds.
“In just a few hundred meters up the mountain there is enough snow and then it becomes icy,” noting trails always look nice and dry down below.
So plan to stay low on trails like Baden Powell and leave St. Mark’s Summit for the warmer weather.
“From now until summer we see a significant number of calls of people just not realizing they’re going to run into such significant snow in the mountains,” he says. “It’s a big surprise to them because it’s sunny and warm in town but as soon as you go up a few hundred meters you’re in snow and people not being prepared.”
He says running shoes just won’t cut it right now.
Pope adds the avalanche risk is high, especially loose wet avalanches due to the warming snowpack.
If you plan on heading out, get started early as conditions make travel slower and make sure you have the ten essentials and get first-hand knowledge of trail conditions.