Sidney, B.C. – With the May long weekend approaching and our historical call volume already at a record high, the BC Search and Rescue Association (BCSARA) through its program, BC AdventureSmart, is delighted to officially launch a series of videos that illustrate the joys and risks of the top 11 trails that have generated the most search and rescue calls in BC.
The 11 trails are:
- Stawamus Chief Trail (Squamish)
- Juan De Fuca Trail (Vancouver Island)
- Eagle Bluff Trail (West Vancouver)
- Mt Seymour Trail (North Vancouver)
- Sky Walk South Trail (Whistler)
- Howe Sound Crest Trail (West Vancouver)
- Golden Ears Summit Trail (Maple Ridge)
- Grouse Grind Trail (North Vancouver)
- Mt. Albert Edward Trail (Vancouver Island)
- Black Tusk Trail (Squamish)
- Hanes Valley Trail (North Vancouver)
Each video is approximately eight minutes in length and covers one specific trail in-depth with stunning aerial footage and insightful views. We strongly encourage the public to watch these videos as part of their pre-activity planning to fully understand what they may encounter when hiking these popular trails. The videos can be viewed here: https://bcsara.com/outdoor-education/safety-videos/
The production of these 11 trail videos took nearly a year to complete and would not have been possible without the expertise and contributions from our distinguished partners in this project:
- Emergency Management BC (EMBC)
- BC Parks
- RCMP (North Vancouver)
- Avalanche Canada
- Metro Vancouver Regional Parks
We thank everyone, including staff, who assisted and encourage residents and visitors to take advantage of these videos as part of their own efforts to prevent a search and rescue callout.
In addition to familiarizing yourself with a video that covers your trail of choice, being fully prepared for an outdoor activity also includes the following steps:
- Pre-plan your activity, identify/know your route and learn how to successfully use a map (ideally, a topographical map and compass).
- Wear proper footwear and carry appropriate gear for the activity, ensure you are fit enough (both mentally and physically) for the activity and always maintain situational awareness to deal with any unknown risks or changing conditions.
- Make informed and calculated decisions, set limits and assess you and your group’s possible outcomes when decision making.
- Remember that a trip plan is the best start to all great adventures. Download and use the free AdventureSmart TRIP PLAN app on your cellphone to ensure that you’re ready for your next adventure. The app is available at the App Store and Google Play.
- Follow AdventureSmart’s 3 Ts; TRIP PLANNING, TRAINING, TAKING THE ESSENTIALS.
In B.C., the top three reasons for search and rescue callouts are from injury, getting lost/disoriented or exceeding an outdoor enthusiast’s abilities. Search and rescue teams devote thousands of volunteer hours in training and preparedness so that they can always be ready to respond and, as such, are grateful when outdoor enthusiasts also do their best to be prepared before heading out.
Please note that the following two Metro Vancouver trails are still currently closed due to unpredictable and hazardous mountain weather conditions.
- Hanes Valley Route (Lynn Headwaters Regional Park)
- Grouse Grind Trail (Grouse Mountain Regional Park)
We encourage our media partners to make the public aware that these trails, which are featured as part of this video series, are not yet open and can be dangerous. The videos are planning tools to help hikers prepare for their trips, once these trails are open for the season.
“While British Columbia offers some of the most scenic hiking trails in the world, many of them present risks to hikers. It’s important for hikers to plan in advance and be prepared before their excursion. These in-depth videos are a brilliant tool, offering helpful trail-specific information to avoid injuries or getting lost. By watching these videos, hikers can expect a safer and more enjoyable time on the trail.” – Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness.
“Our province offers some of the most beautiful and challenging recreation opportunities in nature. We continue to encourage everyone to make the best use of good information to plan their trip so it is both fulfilling and safe. This series of videos is a valuable tool as people prepare for another rewarding season exploring B.C.’s natural environment.” – Kelly Greene, Parliamentary Secretary for Environment.
“These videos are an excellent resource for anyone planning an excursion into the North Shore mountains. They offer comprehensive aerial overviews of our highest-use trails, describe key decision-making points, highlight and explain how to avoid common trail-specific errors, and give warnings about what conditions to expect throughout the year. These are all critically important pieces of information that will help trail users avoid common pitfalls, make sound decisions, and ultimately reduce their risk of injury or death.” – Sgt. Peter DeVries, North Vancouver RCMP
“Our region is home to many beautiful and engaging trails, including several that are famous for their challenging terrain. We encourage all residents and visitors to discover and enjoy the outdoors safely, which starts with planning and preparation. Kudos to BC AdventureSmart and partners for putting together this informative video series that will hopefully reduce the demand on BC’s dedicated volunteer search and rescue services.” – John McEwen, Chair, Metro Vancouver Regional Parks Committee
“The endorsement and financial support this project received from the BC Search and Rescue Association was greatly appreciated. This backing provided the opportunity to create exclusive outdoor education content helping hikers, in high search and rescue call volume regions of BC, to get informed before they go outdoors. Throughout this project, our team was grateful to work, and hike, on the traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, Lil’Wat, Katzie, Stó:lõ, Seabird, Kwikwetlem, Shxw’ow’hamel, Matsqui, Tsawwassen, Pacheedaht, K’omoks, We Wai Kai and Wei Wai Kum First Nations.” – Sandra Riches, Executive Director, BC AdventureSmart
Media Only Contact Information
BC Search and Rescue Association
Manager of Public Relations and Communications
Emergency Management BC
Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
North Vancouver RCMP
Sgt. Peter DeVries
Office: 604-969-7561 | Mobile: 604-363-5584
Ground Search and Rescue (GSAR) in British Columbia is provided solely by volunteers. On call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, these unpaid professionals provide their time, their own gear and their dedication and expertise at no cost to the people of BC and to the individuals they rescue. BCSARA is proud to represent the 3,000+ GSAR volunteers in BC who make up 79 teams across the province. To donate to support these volunteers, please visit here.
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About BC AdventureSmart
BC AdventureSmart was created by, endorsed and is fully supported by the BC Search and Rescue Association (BCSARA) to reduce the frequency and severity of search and rescue incidents. Since 2004, BC AdventureSmart is proud to have trained and recognizes the 500 volunteer outdoor educators in our province. AdventureSmart, the national sector, stemmed from BC AdventureSmart’s provincial success as a best practice model. From coast to coast to coast, there’s now consistent AdventureSmart representation in every province and territory.
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