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It’s not summer in the mountains

26/11/2015

We are all experiencing chilly temperatures, frosty mornings and sometimes even biting wind, even though it’s fall. And technically though it’s not winter quite yet, it’s acting that way in the mountains. And people are finding that out the hard way, according to North Shore Search & Rescue. 

Many people hiking locally are unprepared for the change from summer to fall/winter conditions. Rescuers say most hikers are still wearing regular street shoes or running shoes, clothing that is not waterproof and they don’t have trail maps.

Those hikers then come to our health facilities for help. They could have hypothermia, sprains and broken bones. And it can be serious.

The mountain is covered in snow and conditions are freezing on top with the wind. The trails are now compact snow and ice and extremely slippery.

Rescuers say be prepared with the following:  

  • Proper winter hiking boots
  • Proper hiking non-cotton warm socks
  • NON-cotton clothing – poly-pro etc.
  • Change of base layer clothing for when it gets wet
  • Parka jacket – aka. puffy jacket
  • Shell jacket
  • Pants – non-cotton
  • Waterproof over-pants
  • Mittens and or winter gloves
  • Poles
  • Micro-spikes
  • Toque
  • Back-pack
  • Head-lamp
  • Food and water
  • Some first aid gear and navigation equipment – GPS, map etc.

Other considerations include bringing an ice-axe, crampons. If you are venturing into areas that might require an ice-axe consider taking a mountaineering course.

A few basic tips:

  • Give yourself enough time – it gets dark very early these days
  • Review your hike before you go and ensure everyone in your group has the appropriate equipment, fitness level and skill for the hike
  • Tell someone where you are going and when you’ll be back
  • Turn your phone onto airplane mode when you start off, to save the battery. Note that coverage can be spotty
  • Don’t hike alone
For more tips, visit North Shore Search & Rescue.
SOURCE: It’s not summer in the mountains ( )
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