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North Shore Rescue sees busy start to 2020 with 4 calls in 2 days — nearly all in 24 hours

North Shore Rescue
A North Shore Rescue helicopter in an undated file photo. North Shore Rescue

North Shore Rescue volunteers have had a busy start to the new year, after attending four calls in two days — three of which happened at the same time.

Team leader Mike Danks said the trio of calls all came in at once on New Year’s Day, which was something he had never seen before.

“They were pretty straightforward calls, but to get three all at once is certainly a different experience,” he said.

READ MORE: Multiple calls keep B.C. search and rescue crews busy for Canada Day weekend

Danks said the first call was for a woman in distress. While volunteers were searching for her, they came across a kayaker whose boat had capsized.

Just as they were done rescuing that man, the team got a call for two hikers lost on Dog Mountain.

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On Jan. 2, crews were called back up to Dog Mountain for a 69-year old woman who had possibly fractured her ankle.

Danks said everyone was found and recovered OK, and that the hikers and kayaker were prepared for the elements — which is more rare than the team would like.

Record year for North Shore Rescue
Record year for North Shore Rescue

“All of those calls were for people that were prepared, and just kind of had an unfortunate circumstance,” he said.

“So it’s nice to see that, instead of people who are not prepared.”

While those rescues had happy endings, bad weather is in the forecast for the entire South Coast, making for some hazardous conditions for the North Shore backcountry.

The Sea-to-Sky region is also under a rare “extreme” avalanche warning.

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READ MORE: Rare ‘extreme’ avalanche warning issued for B.C.’s Sea-to-Sky region

That prompted Danks to issue a warning to any outdoor enthusiasts looking to venture onto the mountains and trails this weekend.

“If the weather’s bad and the conditions are poor, I would find something else to do in the front country area,” he said, pointing people to the local ski hills.

“There’s tons of terrain on our local mountains that is controlled, there’s great skiing to be had. So I think it really just comes down to common sense, preparation.”

While many of those ski hills remain open under heavy snowfall and strong winds, Grouse Mountain and Mount Seymour closed down Friday due to the adverse weather.