By Curtis Jones
North Shore Rescue crews were busy on Saturday with two back to back calls.
The first call came in through the North Vancouver RCMP and saw a full general callout of NSR members to Grouse Mountain. The call was for a 30-40 foot fall, location unknown. North Vancouver District Fire Rescue was on scene earlier, and NSR joined them in the search. Deploying our helicopter rescue team, while establishing cell contact with the subject, allowed the aircraft to localize the subjects location rapidly. At this point in time District Fire transferred command to NSR and NSR field teams retrieved the subject and a companion from the Baden Powell trail west of Skyline. Terrific teamwork and interoperability with NV RCMP and District Fire.
The second call came later in the evening and saw two hikers stranded in darkness. With minimal information, NSR launched a multi-pronged search. Crews were sent to access points between Seymour Road and Mountain Highway on the Baden Powell to bracket the likely area. From here, teams used sound attraction and parachute flares to triangulate on the subjects location. Narrowing the search area to the lower Seymour trail system, the subjects were found and escorted out to safety by 22:30.
Some take homes for everyone to consider:
Daylight hours are shortening, plan accordingly by taking into account it getting dark earlier. Take the 10 essentials (special emphasis on a light).
When hiking, pay attention to where you are. Have a map and be ready to rely your location to the police dispatcher in a clear and concise manner if something goes wrong. This may be your only chance to talk to someone before losing cell contact; make it count (but also remember to conserve your cell battery during the hike and stay put if something goes wrong).