With sunny skies on B.C.’s South Coast, North Shore Rescue is warning would-be backcountry adventurers that conditions in the local mountains are shifting, potentially dangerously.
“In town here it’s quite warm and sunny,” NSR team leader Mike Danks said.
“As soon as you get into the mountains the weather can change very quickly. Just keep in mind when the sun goes down it’s very cold, we have icy conditions.”
Danks said the region was now in the “shoulder season,” meaning fewer hours of daylight, lower freezing levels and rapidly changing weather.
With clear skies providing an enticing opportunity for a hike, he said it is more important than ever for hikers to be prepared.
“The temperature has dropped quite a bit and people need to be set up for winter conditions,” he said.
North Shore Rescue says visitors to the backcountry should always pack 10 essential items when venturing out, regardless of what season it is.
With wintery conditions on the way, Danks said warm clothing is of particular importance. That means multiple layers, with a waterproof outer layer and a wool or synthetic base layer. Cotton clothing, including jeans, should always be avoided.
Equally important, he said, is proper footwear. That means good quality boots for any hike, and micro-spikes or even crampons if venturing into an area where snow or ice may be present.
Hikers should always plan their trip, Danks said. With shorter days, that means ensuring you have enough time to make it to your destination and back before the sun sets.
“Let somebody know where your intended destination is, what time you expect to be there and what time you expect to be back,” he added.
“That’s great information for us when we’re coming in to do a rescue.”
In September, North Shore Rescue revealed it had already smashed its all-time record for annual call-outs, with three months left to go in the year.