Due to a recent increase in rescues in the backcountry, the Revelstoke RCMP have issued a press release urging those heading into the back country to be better prepared. Staff Sergeant Grabinsky emphasizes the need for backcountry users to follow several steps before and during their time in the mountains.
First, have a travel plan.
Second, notify people of where you are headed to and when you plan to return.
Third, bring extra food, water, clothing and fire making supplies – be prepared to spend the night.
Four, stay in bounds at the ski hill and know the terrain on sled recreation areas. Know if you have the ability to ride in those areas.
Five, use mapping GPS features (waypoints). A SPOT or INREACH type device is valuable for updating others, emergencies and unforeseen delays.
“It is reasonable,” Grabinsky’s press release states, “to travel with knowledgeable persons (guides). The AST level 1 course should be a minimum for those in the backcountry, as well as a beacon, shovel and probe. Radio communications between travellers can reduce lost persons.”
Grabinsky notes that the Revelstoke Search and Rescue (SAR) team are all highly skilled volunteers. “Recent social media posts have failed to mention the volunteer aspect of SAR in relations to the missing persons,” Grabinsky writes. “It is the responsibility of the individual to protect themselves when in the backcountry, and SAR will assist when called and when resources are available. Recently it is the sheer volume of calls for SAR that results in greater risk for these volunteers. Skiers, snowboarders and sledders can take action to reduce being stranded in the backcountry.”
For further information about the Revelstoke Search and Rescue, please see
For an article about what volunteering for the SAR is like, check out volunteer Giles Shearing’s article