It’s the busiest time of year on hiking trails in Kananaskis Country and area but emergency officials are also getting bombarded with 911 calls from hikers who are not properly prepared with the right equipment.
Kananaskis Country Public Safety posted the following statement on their Facebook page expressing some concerns:
“We can’t help but notice a pattern developing in our local Bow Valley mountains. In the last week we’ve been called to assist with 19 hikers!! Yamnuska, EEOR, and Ha Ling have all managed to stump new hikers and cause a rash of 911 calls. Luckily none of these have involved any injuries, but they have kept us and COs out into the wee hours of the morning on multiple nights.”
The contributing factors of most of the calls were related to a lack of proper equipment while hiking.
Kananaskis Country Public Safety listed the following hiking and equipment reminders to ensure hikers of all levels are prepared and safe:
- Headlamp – days are getting shorter and shorter. Keep a headlamp (or flashlight) in your pack at all times.
- An alarm and start early! Late afternoon/early evening is too late to start an alpine scramble.
- A fully charged phone battery is essential. The light on the phone is fine if you are trying to find your keys underneath the car seat, but it is not enough to navigate through the hills. Aside from that, the phone is a critical link for communication.
Last weekend, Kananaskis rescue crews received 10 calls over just a few days.
“These include lost scramblers, a river rescue upstream of Canmore, a few broken ankles in different park locations and even a small fire that forestry was able to access quickly. A common theme on a few of these calls is footwear. Tennis shoes are for tennis, not scrambling,” Kananaskis Country Public Safety said in another Facebook statement.
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