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Winter rescue season begins, North Shore Rescue says

“We need to be prepared now for full winter conditions,” said Mike Danks, North Shore Rescue team leader.
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 Winter conditions have fallen in the North Shore Mountains, North Shore Rescue says. File photo North Shore NewsWinter conditions have fallen in the North Shore Mountains, North Shore Rescue says. File photo North Shore News

If you want to experience frozen, you now have two options – get to a movie theatre or get lost in the mountains.

“We need to be prepared now for full winter conditions,” said Mike Danks, North Shore Rescue team leader.

The team rescued two lost hikers on Sunday, both of whom wound up caught in the snow and dark unprepared to get out on their own, including one visitor from Kelowna who had to be escorted off Black Mountain.

“She didn’t anticipate it getting dark so early. She didn’t anticipate the snow and she just got caught totally off guard. She was using her cellphone as her light source and when she made the call to police, she had two per cent battery left,” Danks said.

It was the second call of day that followed a similar trajectory. Neither were difficult rescues, but Danks said they were both preventable.

Metro Vancouver has begun closing all of its trails into the backcountry, which Danks said, hikers and snowshoers need to heed.

“They’re closed for a reason,” Danks said.

And, although there isn’t enough snow yet for avalanches to be a risk, Danks said everyone should be in the practice of checking the forecast at avalanche.ca before going into the alpine.

Anyone headed out to the trails that remain open needs to be carrying avalanche gear, an ice axe and be wearing crampons or microspikes, Danks added.