A team from Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue deploying somewhere between Alouette Mountain and Evans Peak. (Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue/Special to The News)

A team from Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue deploying somewhere between Alouette Mountain and Evans Peak. (Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue/Special to The News)

VIDEO: 2020 one of the busiest years for Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue

So far they have attended around 60 calls

2020 was a busy year for Ridge Meadows Search & Rescue.

This year, so far, the team has attended 60 calls. And, the year is not over yet.

In 2019 the team attended 46 calls.

“We definitely saw an increased call volume,” remarked Bryan Moffatt, the Ridge Meadows Search & Rescue manager who has been with the team for the past 13 years.

This was one of the busiest years he can remember.

Even though the season has quieted down recently – mainly because daylight hours are shorter and the gate to Golden Ears Provincial Park closes earlier – it doesn’t mean the local search and rescue team won’t get a call.

On average the team attends to about six winter rescues a season.

This would include calls that involved snow travel, where people they were rescuing or searching for were exposed to freezing temperatures or where they were hypothermic or close to it, explained Moffatt.

Just two weeks ago they were called to rescue a trail-runner who hurt her ankle along the Lower Alouette. There was no snow, but it was a rescue, just the same.

Moffatt still sees a fair amount of people heading to Alouette Mountain and Evans Peak at this time of the year. Some even attempt Golden Ears Summit, although Golden Ears is what he would call an “ambitious” hike with the time constraints.

READ MORE: Helicopter rescue from Golden Ears Mountain

“But there is the occasional group that tries to do it,” he said.

And, he said, there are plenty of risks to any of those hikes.

There is definitely a risk of avalanches in the area or the risk of slipping and falling in the snow.

“We’ve had a number of rescues where people have slipped on the way up to Evans Peak and they’ve taken a long fall, a long slide in the snow and injured themselves,” said Moffatt.

Or, he said, there is the chance of exposure or hypothermia, on all of those mountains, especially if a hiker doesn’t have the right equipment.

“You could be hiking in the rain down closer to the valley and then get up into the freezing temperatures where it’s snowing and your equipment is soaking wet and you’ve exposed yourself to some pretty dangerous conditions,” he noted.

READ MORE: Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue delayed one hour responding to a call in Golden Ears Provincial Park on Saturday

Anytime people venture out they should have with them the 10 essentials: a flashlight with spare batteries and bulb; a fire-making kit including waterproof matches or lighter and a fire starter or candle; a signalling device such as a whistler or mirror; extra food and water, at least one litre per person; extra clothing for protection against the rain, wind, water and a toque; navigation and communication aids, at least a map and a compass; a first aid kit and know how to use it; an emergency shelter such as an orange tarp or blanket; a pocket knife; and sun protection including glasses, sunscreen and a hat.

When travelling in avalanche terrain, Moffatt added, people need to have the appropriate training and gear to be able to initiate a self rescue.

And, let somebody know where you are going.



Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Townhomes at ERA Maple Ridge became a hot commodity as house prices soared past $1 million. (Neil Corbett/The News)
Sales at ERA Maple Ridge show sizzling market

Downtown development sells 13 townhomes one Sunday

Mike Cosic is taking over as Benchmark Botanics’ new CEO. (LinkedIn)
Pitt Meadows cannabis company names new CEO

Mike Cosic was previously the CFO of Meta Growth Corp

Chameleon Cafe, located in Maple Ridge, B.C., has a permanent street-side patio. (Black Press files)
Chamber of Commerce wants Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows to move barriers to patios

Chamber president says struggling restaurants, bars and cafes don’t need additional red tape

Ken Dockendorf is president of the BC High School Boys Basketball Association. (THE NEWS files)
Administrators vote to change BC school sports governance

Maple Ridge coach says athletes won’t notice a change next season

Matt Trulsen of Maple Ridge went on from the PJHL to excel in junior college hockey in the U.S. (Dakota College at Bottineau/Special to The News)
Maple Ridge goaltender excels in U.S. junior college

Matt Trulsen, brother of the late Noah, calls community support ‘amazing’

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination doses at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is coming under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first vaccine against COVID-19 that they’re offered. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Trudeau says he is glad he got AstraZeneca, vaccines are only way out of pandemic

‘The most important thing is to get vaccinated with the first vaccine offered to you’

B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Dip in COVID-19 cases with 572 newly announced in B.C.

No new deaths have been reported but hospitalized patients are up to 481, with 161 being treated in intensive care

Ripy Jubbal of Abbotsford has received a 30-month jail sentence for the fraudulent use of credit cards and credit card data. (Facebook photo)
Abbotsford woman sentenced for $80K in fraudulent credit card purchases

Ripy Jubbal and spouse used identities of 19 different victims, court hears

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

A woman in the Harrison Mills area was attacked by a cougar on Tuesday, May 4. B.C. Conservation Officers killed two male cougars in the area; the attack was determined to be predatory in nature. (File photo)
2 cougars killed following attack on woman in Agassiz area

Attack victim remains in hospital in stable condition

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. CDC updates info, acknowledging small respiratory droplets can spread COVID-19

Large droplets, not aerosols had been fixture of public health messaging for many months

Most Read