Month: December 2010

Snow Immersion Deaths redux

I’ve written about death in the backcountry before, and in that post I detailed a flowchart with the intent on showing how a lot of deaths unfold from a SAR perspective. Recent accidents in the backcountry in BC have shown

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Frequency of SAR Incidents

Most SAR teams maintain records of each incident independently from PEP, but even if they didn’t I’m sure they would all agree; there are more SAR incidents in the summer than in the winter. Further, calls come with greater frequency

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Distribution of SAR Incidents in BC

I was at a meeting last night and heard a SAR member state a bald claim that the Southwest region of BC has more incidents than the rest of BC combined. I was pretty sure this was not the case

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The Pineapple Express and Extreme Avalanche danger

A Pineapple Express is approaching the coast, and conditions have changed yet again. Everyone should take a moment to appreciate the significance of Extreme Avalanche hazard on the south coast. Take a moment to understand what extreme means: Likelihood of

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Non-Avalanche Related Snow Immersion Death

I was reading a local hiking/mountaineering forum recently when I came across this post detailing a very scary incident that happened to a skier at a local resort. And then I learned a new acronym: NARSID. Now I have never

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SAR Numbers from other Provinces

For years I’ve been told that British Columbia has more SAR incidents than the rest of Canada combined. This sounds hard to believe, as BC has 4 million people (13% of Canada) and only comprises about 10% of the total

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Weather observations redux

In my post yesterday I noted that it’s important to get a synopsis of weather conditions. My rationale; most weather forecasts provided by Environment Canada and other forecasters are geared toward the sea-level public, and contain wind and rain amounts,

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Weather observations and the coming storm

With reference to the post I wrote on coastal weather patterns, this weeks storm is an illustration of a winter front. However, the public forecasts and the rainfall warning are clearly geared toward the sea-level public. So where does a

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Some numbers on a large search

Most searches are short; someone goes missing and we head out and find them, someone calls on a cell phone and we guide them in, or we do a medical response. We divide searches into operational periods, a fancy term

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How not to carry a stretcher

Believe it or not, SAR members actually train for stretcher carrying. I honestly think that most of the reason we do this training is that we’re usually called out in the middle of the night, so you need to have

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