Submitted by Revelstoke Search and Rescue Society
The mountains are an appealing playground, but can be a very unforgiving place to spend a night (or more) unprepared. In the past two weeks alone, Revelstoke Search and Rescue has responded to three calls for lost skiers and snowboarders that have strayed beyond the resort boundary lines. With great sadness, one of these persons succumbed to exposure before they were found.
The Revelstoke Search and Rescue Society (REVSAR) is holding an information day at Revelstoke Mountain Resort on Saturday, March 10 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
REVSAR will have an information tent at the top of the gondola, and members will be stretched out across the mountain at common resort boundary gates to meet and speak with skiers and snowboarders about their plans for the day, hand out useful backcountry equipment (whistles, emergency blankets, lighters), discuss equipment needs and general preparedness for skiing in uncontrolled, unpatrolled areas. REVSAR does not want to stop anyone from enjoying their plans, but hope to engage with the public on the risks of skiing out of bounds and travelling in the backcountry and how best to be prepared.
”If we can prevent even one person from spending an unprepared night in the unforgiving mountains that we live in, this day will be considered a success,” said Mark Gunner, with REVSAR.
The information tent at the top of the gondola will include one of REVSAR ’s CARDA (Canadian Avalanche Rescue Dog Association) dogs and handler. The handler and dog will provide a demonstration of their skills in the Avalanche Ranch transceiver training area.
In cooperation with AdventureSmart (www.adventuresmart.ca), the REVSAR information tent will also be distributing information brochures and safety equipment. AdventureSmart encourages people to ‘Get informed and go outdoors’ and in conjunction with that message REVSAR wants to remind everyone of the three T’s … Trip Planning, Training, and Take the Essentials. Most people travelling in the back country take the essentials for travel in an avalanche area including a transceiver, probe and shovel, but do they always file a trip plan with a responsible person and let them know when to expect them back? Do they carry gear to survive an unexpected night in the woods such as fire starter, spare clothing, shelter, and food? Do they know that cell phones may not work where they are going and carry another communication device such as a satellite phone, InReach or SPOT? Heading out of bounds, do they know how to get back?