Original Published on Jul 11, 2022 at 11:44

By Charlie Carey, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Rescuers on the North Shore had a busy few days, as weekend go-getters got into trouble in the North Shore backcountry.

On Sunday (July 10), NSR was called out twice in similar circumstances, first to Mount Strachan and then to Dam Mountain, for folks who’d got stuck in deep snow and were unable to find their way out.

In a Facebook post Sunday afternoon, the rescue group said it was called out for the three stranded hikers near Christmas Gully on Mount Strachan, responding with a Talon helicopter.

“A team of four was hover exited above the hikers, hiked down to them, and assisted them back up. The hikers and rescue crew were then picked up by Talon and flown back to our LZ near Cleveland Dam,” the post said.

In a second rescue, NSR said two hikers became lost and stuck in deep snow near Dam Mountain. As the hikers were able to call 911, the rescue team were able to use the 911 ping to accurately locate the hikers.

“During this call, an NSR team was redirected to the BCMC [trail] due to reports of [another] hiker crawling up the trail and having difficulty,” the team wrote.

With the hikers becoming separated, North Shore Rescue said there are key takeaways for people looking to head into the backcountry:

  • “Don’t plan a hike in a closed backcountry area (Hanes Valley). This group was organized from an Internet hiking group.
  • Research and plan your route.
  • Hike with people you trust and know their abilities.
  • If the leader of the hiking group does not show up, do not continue with that hike.
  • Always pack a headlamp and micro-spikes when heading into the backcountry, even in July.
  • Don’t leave behind members of your group because they are slower than you.
  • If you encounter a SAR team looking for members of your group – make sure to tell the SAR members that the missing hikers were part of your group.”

“There are still metres of snow in the backcountry right now. Please plan accordingly with appropriate equipment including microspikes, ice axe – and the knowledge of how to use it.”

The rescues come after the Rogers Communications outages affected 911 calls across the country, forcing NSR to send out a warning to folks recreating outside over the weekend.

“If you are recreating outside today please be aware that you may have challenges contacting 911 due to the ongoing Rogers outage. … Bring a satellite device, and always tell someone where you are going and when to expect you back – especially important today until Rogers service is restored.”

This item reprinted with permission from North Shore News, North Vancouver, British Columbia