Prepare properly before venturing into backcountry: Powder Kings

Know your limits and ride within them

Know your limits and ride within them.

That’s the message from Williams Lake Powder Kings Snowmobile Club Vice-President Rick Seibert after the club, along with Central Cariboo Search and Rescue, have attended some close calls involving snowmobiles in the backcountry so far already this season.

“That’s the No. 1 thing, is to know your limits,” Seibert said. “We’ve had a couple incidents where people have needed help getting off the mountain in the last couple weeks, so if you’re riding in the backcountry ride within your riding experience. The best way to say it is: beginner skiers do not go down black diamond runs, but in the backcountry we have that situation all the time because you’re in an uncontrolled environment.”

Seibert said anyone venturing into the backcountry should also have the necessary tools required to light a fire in the event of an emergency including a saw, along with first aid equipment.

“Water, food, tools: these are all mandatory things,” he said. “If you don’t have an emergency contact device and have all those other things at least you can survive.”

An emergency contact device, such as a SPOT satellite messenger, satellite phone and a GPS device are handy, however, not essential, he noted.

READ MORE: Prolonged drought causing dangerous avalanche conditions

“The other big thing is before you head out in the backcountry let someone know when and where you’re going and when you’re going to be back home,” Seibert said. “Say something like: ‘If I don’t contact you by 9 p.m. tonight come looking for me.’”

Seibert added riders should also check avalanche bulletins for any abnormalities in our area.

Snow conditions currently at Yanks Peak — a popular riding destination 145 kilometres northeast of Williams Lake in the Cariboo Mountains — are phenomenal, Seibert said.

“We’re 40 per cent above average,” he said. “We have eight feet of snow at the cabin right now, and it’s been dumping up there just steady. In the last week we received almost four feet of snow.”

Central Cariboo Search and Rescue, meanwhile, has been busy expanding its members’ abilities to handle emergency mountain situations.

CCSAR held a full day of snowmobile and avalanche rescue practice during the weekend at Big Timothy for its LandSAR team, led by training officer Dawn Unruh and her husband, Kevin — both experienced snowmobilers.

READ MORE: Powder Kings rescue stranded rider

“We had about 10 members and then two helpers, Michael and Matthew Karcher, with the purpose of getting some of our members who maybe don’t always get to use snowmobiles more experience and comfortable in a safe environment with experienced riders, and to get used to the machines search and rescue is lucky to own,” said CCSAR public relations co-ordinator Debra Bortolussi.

Bortolussi said during their training CCSAR members split up into two groups: one for riding and another for learning how to use avalanche beacons and probes.

“Our members who have their AST 1 (Avalanche Skills Training) were teaching the rest of the group the basics of it, and hopefully more members will be going to get their AST 1 training because it’s a really great resource, especially in our area.

“If you look around we’re surrounded by mountain terrain, and avalanche area.”

Just Posted

More than 75 golfers tee off at annual WLGTC 2 Lady Classic

Visiting players account for more than half the field

Dr. Glenn Fedor honoured with lifetime achievement award

Early in his career, Dr. Fedor provided GP anesthesia, maternity care and emergency medicine.

UPDATE: River Valley fire started at location of homeless camp

“Fire is out,” Peterson said. “Cause is undetermined but was in the location of a camp.”

CCCTA pleased with marketing efforts

The new three per cent accommodation tax collected since May 2018 totals $674,000

FOREST INK: History of 1950 Chinchaga firestorm, part two

The author also did considerable research to describe how dark days had appeared in the past

Protesters rally in Victoria over newly approved Trans Mountain pipeline

The Still No Consent! No Trans Mountain! 20 kilometre march will end at Island View Beach

Wildfire burning in coastal forest

A fire beside the Sea to Sky Highway is burning up a steep slope

PHOTOS: Event marks one year since soccer team rescued from Thai cave

Nine players and coach took part in marathon and bike event to help improve conditions at cave

Rock climber dies after fall at Stawamus Chief in Squamish

The man had fallen about 30 metres while climbing in the Grand Wall area

Five B.C. students taken to hospital after playing with vaping device

School district said students were taken to hospital ‘out of an abundance of caution’

Being a pot dealer is not what it used to be

Sunday Big Read: the business of selling marijuana in B.C. is a slow bureaucratic slog

VIDEO: Two more pride flags have been stolen from Langley woman

Lisa Ebenal was “angry” and “fed up” after the latest theft. Then people started showing suppport

B.C. couple who has raised 58 children turns to community amid cancer diagnosis

Family who raised, fostered and adopted many kids hoping to gain some precious together time to fight cancer

Canucks acquire forward J.T. Miller from Lightning

J.T. Miller, 26, had 13 goals and 34 assists for the Lightning last season

Most Read