Groups need to ensure they are planing for their hikes, and adjust accordingly to the changing conditions.
On Sept 28 , NSR Members were on their way to Chilliwack as part of a huge regional response to an injured hiker at a remote lake at 4800 feet . The weather was horrendous.
At the same time a group of 30 or more female and male hikers in their late teens/early twenties, decided it was a good day to hike to remote Elsay Lake – 7 km north of Mt Seymour. Some were observed to have packs and some did not. Jeans and sneakers were also observed – not appropriate clothing and footwear for this rugged terrain.
They left the main parking lot at approx 10:00. A resort staff member warned the party of the dangerous rainfall and high winds. They were observed at 1500 by two of our members who were doing a renovation on our SAR Station coming back all soaked to the bone.
They never made it anywhere near Elsay.
This could have been a disaster if they had encountered hypothermia or an injury or became lost and we could have had multiple victims. In addition , with group dynamics, separate sub groups form with some becoming lost even further. Often these groups do not have a manifest of who is on the hike.
If this situation would have occurred, it could have seriously thrown a wrench into this regions capability to respond if the Chilliwack call had not had the good fortune of a great pilot from Valley Helicopters and skilled Chilliwack SAR members plucking the hiker off the mountainous terrain in very marginal weather.
NSR is trying to track down who this group was and their organizers to have a very serious chat.
A message to all groups who plan trips like this.
Check the weather please. That is just the start.
Go to our website to get more information on trip planning and safety.
The Adventure Smart website is also a great resource for trip planning and has a trip plan template you can fill out –
This could save your life.
Pictured below – group of 40 hikers attempting Hanes Valley in 2006 without proper equipment or ice axes.
They abandoned their hike and turned back. NSR was called with reports of an injury and that the group had broken up. We intercepted all of them in small groups coming down Lynn Headwaters.