More than 120 volunteer hours were clocked on Jan. 21 while responding to three calls in popular recreation areas.
“It was a busy day,” said Giles Shearing, operations manager for Revelstoke SAR.
Two of the calls involved snowmobilers on Boulder Mountain and the other was at Frisby Ridge, both of which are just north of the city. The first call was a broken leg, the second was multi-trauma and the third was for an overdue party.
Shearing said while the team is happy to help and bring people back to safety, he urged outdoor recreationalists to dial it back and play safe.
Rescues for many SAR teams across the province are surging. Vancouver’s North Shore has seen a large increase in calls, including one for a recent death of a 21-year-old snowshoer on Cypress Mountain.
At 80 calls a year, Revelstoke is one of the busiest rescue teams in B.C.
Shearing said many people underestimate steep mountains and thick forests.
It’s important for people to be prepared before venturing into the backcountry, including making a trip plan.
One of the tools offered by national safety program BC AdventureSmart is a trip planning app that enables users to quickly and easily create a detailed trip plan and send it to family and friends, which can be helpful to rescue teams in cases of emergency and reduce search time.
BC AdventureSmart has a team based out of Revelstoke to help educate backcountry users on how to travel safely and what equipment to bring. The organization has information booths this winter at Boulder Mountain and Revelstoke Mountain Resort.
Due to the pandemic, Shearing said teams are slower responding to rescues because of additional safety precautions. He said it’s important to remember helicopters don’t fly at night, so if people need help it’s better to call earlier than later.
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