Tag: backcountry

Summer snow conditions

When I wrote my article on a pattern of accidents I had observed in winter sports lovers, I talked about the snow conditions that contribute to a slip and fall accident. That, combined with easy access to the alpine, a

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Avalanche Accidents and Hazard rating

Every week the Canadian Avalanche Centre produces multiple avalanche bulletins for many different regions of British Columbia. In those bulletins, they rate the avalanche danger, defined as the likelihood, size and distribution of avalanches. This weekend there were several avalanche

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SARDay 104-106: Organized Avalanche Response

What a week of weather events; huge amounts of snow, wind and a buried icy crust layer. Several natural avalanche observed on Mount Seymour, and skier triggered and natural avalanches all over the place. What better time for an avalanche

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SARDay 103: Lost hiker on Eagle Ridge

At around 22:00 on Monday night the team was paged by Coquitlam RCMP to search for a hiker reported overdue on Eagle Ridge. This was my first search as a SAR manager in training, so I was privy to the

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On Coordinates; part 2

In my previous post on coordinates, I stated that the best coordinate representation to use if you need to use geographic coordinates (latitude and longitude) was decimal degrees (or DD). It’s preferable to use UTM, which is pretty much a

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Backcountry Skier dies on Mount Seymour

Please see updates at the end of this article. A week from my last post on his pattern of accidents, and there’s another accident, this time fatal. Details are sketchy, but the media are reporting that the individual was snowshoeing

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On Coordinates

A while back I wrote about some issues I’ve witnessed with backcountry enthusiasts, SAR people, and geographic coordinates. In my experience, people have trouble recording and transmitting coordinates. This should be a very simple task, and it is – when

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Snowshoer rescued on Hollyburn Mountain

This previous week has seen warmer than usual weather with a lot of rain and fluctuating freeing temperatures bringing rain to the tops of the local mountains, and saturating the snow. Yesterday and today dawned cold and clear. Overnight sea-level

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On Outdoor Responsibility

I found an interesting site the other day: Leave No Trace (there is a Canadian offshoot as well). It’s a site that promotes outdoor ethics and offers guidance on the best practises to preserve wilderness values, and reduce the impact

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Backcountry Ski rig for SAR

On the south coast, most below-treeline winter SAR is done using snowshoes. However, snowshoes are not always the most appropriate way to travel in the winter. Among the many reasons to not use snowshoes, the one that stands out the

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