Tuesday, January 25, 2011  
   Volume 81 - Issue 4 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
“You might leave on your adventure at plus 5, but temperatures change, and you could be looking at minus 20 by the end of the day.”
- Jeff Smith  
- CNP Rescue   
   

 

 
The Crowsnest Pass Rescue Squad was called out on Saturday, January 15th after two Calgary snowmobilers became lost north of the Atlas Staging area.
Crowsnest Pass RCMP received a call via cell phone from the pair at around 9:40 p.m., after their snowmobiles had gotten stuck and they could not make their way back to their vehicles at the staging area.
The pair, a man and woman from Calgary, had unloaded their sleds at approximately 6:30 p.m. and gone out for a 90-minute ride before getting stuck and attempting to make their way back on foot.
They were unfamiliar with the area, with limited snowmobile experience, in addition to not being equipped with dry clothing, emergency equipment, or the means to make a shelter or fire to signal rescuers.
High winds and blowing snow added to their concern, as temperatures continued to drop and weather conditions worsened.
At roughly 11:30 p.m., three rescue technicians departed from the Atlas Staging area on snowmobiles.
The lost sledders were located shortly after midnight, walking south along the pipeline, approximately five miles north of the staging area.
“They gave a very accurate description of their location, and that made it a lot easier for us to find them,” said Crowsnest Rescue Chief Michael Taje.
Their clothes were wet and cold by this point, and they were concerned about hypothermia.
They were transported to the Crowsnest Pass hospital for examination and later released.
Police and Crowsnest Rescue urge recreational snowmobilers to take extra care and precaution when sledding in the backcountry, particularly when in unfamiliar territory, and when conditions are not ideal.
 

Rescue Technician Jeff Smith of the Rescue Squad has a few tips for those interested in heading out to the backcountry for skiing or sledding.
First, check the avalanche hazard and terrain ratings for your particular area at www.avalanche.ca, as well as the weather forecast before heading out.
Have a trip plan, and notify someone in town of what you will be doing and where.
Go in groups, and ensure that everyone in the group is equipped with a transceiver, avalanche probe, and shovel, and that they know how to use all three.
It is also highly recommended that anyone who uses the backcountry regularly become educated by taking an Avalanche Skills Training course.
“It is important to keep in mind that your sledding partners are your first line of rescue, as your life will depend on them,” Smith said.
Taje also stressed the importance of having proper clothing and footware, as the threat of hypothermia is all too real at this time of year.
“Stay away from cotton or jeans, as cotton absorbs moisture,” said Taje. “Stick to polyester, fleece or wool, and dress in layers for insulation.”
Last, but certainly not least, Taje wants users to be prepared for unpredictable weather.
“You have to be prepared for weather fluctuations in the mountains,” he said. “You might leave on your adventure at plus 5, but temperatures change, and you could be looking at minus 20 by the end of the day.”
“Make sure you have matches or a lighter so you can make a fire. Take stuff out there that will help you survive if something happens.”
Crowsnest Pass Rescue technicians are also trained in avalanche rescue and are on call to respond to any sort of backcountry emergency.

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   Volume 81 - Issue 4 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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