AdventureSmart has many learning tools that remind people how to stay safe when out on the trails. (Pixabay)

AdventureSmart has many learning tools that remind people how to stay safe when out on the trails. (Pixabay)

Despite recent calls to rescue hikers in Central Okanagan, no increase from 2019: COSAR

People have been making conservative choices, according to Central Okanagan Search and Rescue

In the last two weeks, there have been several calls for emergency crews to rescue injured hikers on trails in the Okanagan.

On May 5, a 68-year-old woman had to be airlifted from the Rose Valley Dam Trail network. And, over the weekend, Penticton and District Search and Rescue (PENSAR) airlifted an injured hiker from Pincushion Mountain.

At the end of April, fire crews were called to Mount Baldy trail in Kelowna to rescue an injured hiker. An off-road rescue vehicle had to be brought in to carry the individual out of the area.

While it might seem as if crews are frequently being called out to assist in various rescues, Central Okanagan Search and Rescue (COSAR) search manager David Crawford said there hasn’t been an increase compared to years past.

He said calls for help are more common in the springtime as the weather changes and becomes ideal for hiking or camping.

“It’s very common for us to get this number of calls in the spring. People go too hard too fast because they get excited about the nice weather,” Crawford said.

“Here in the Okanagan region, we see stark weather differences at different altitudes and sometimes people don’t take that into account. If you leave the trailhead at lake level, you can see snow once you get up the hills, and it can happen very fast.”

But, he added that this year doesn’t seem to be better or worse than years past for rescue type calls. Crawford said a few things may factor into this. One could be people are listening to the provincial health officer’s recommendations of getting out and keeping a safe distance from others, which means people may make conservative choices when they go out and play it safe.

He said another one is the work AdventureSmart has done to remind people to stay safe when in the backcountry.

“There’s been a lot of work from (AdventureSmart) as well as various signage and communication from the provincial government on how to stay safe when heading out, and people have been listening to that.”

“We still go out and rescue people, but we do appreciate everyone making more conservative choices. We’d prefer not to go out and rescue people, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, as it puts our people and those we’re rescuing at an increased risk when we have to be in close proximity to perform rescues.”

“Of course, we’ll still come rescue you, but please make good choices so we won’t have to.”

Crawford said those who want to enjoy the trails should visit AdventureSmart’s site and learning tools first before heading out.

READ MORE: Helicopter used in Rose Valley trail rescue

READ MORE: Kelowna crews rescue hiker on Mount Baldy trail


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusHiking

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

Just Posted

Flooding has become a reality for many communities in the Okanagan Valley as the region faces more extreme weather storms, blamed on the impact of climate change. (File photo)
Okanagan high target for spring flooding

Higher snowpack and mild winter precipitation levels raise concerns for Canada’s insurance industry

The Kamloops RCMP detachment is asking for the public’s help in finding Kayne Pasco, a Vernon man wanted on several B.C. charges. (Contributed)
Wanted Vernon man believed to be in Kamloops: RCMP

Kayne Pasco, 27, is wanted in the province for several offences

Vernon Morning Star columnist Sam McNair gives an inside look to One Yoga in Vernon. (Sam McNair - Contributed)
Small Business Spotlight: One Yoga Vernon

It’s 2021 and everyone is looking forward to a new year full… Continue reading

A COVID-19 outbreak at Vernon’s Heritage Square long-term care home has now claimed eight lives as of Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
COVID-19 claims another life at Vernon’s Heritage Square

Eight residents of the assisted living facility have died due to the virus to date

Interior Health reported 79 new cases of COVID-19 and two new death in the region Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
79 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths reported in Interior Health

Both of Friday’s deaths were both recorded at long-term care homes

Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021 is International Lego Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 24 to 30

Lego Day, Talk Like a Grizzled Prospector Day and Puzzle Day are all coming up this week

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Sunnybank in Oliver. (Google Maps)
Sunnybank long-term care in Oliver reports third COVID-19 death

The facility currently has an outbreak with 35 cases attached to it

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

Big White Village on Dec. 16. (Big White photo)
11 more COVID-19 cases linked to Big White cluster

Interior Health provided an update on the cluster on Friday

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Kamloops’ Royal Inland Hospital surgical unit

Despite 6 South being a surgical unit, RIH said surgeries are continuing at the hospital

Daily COVID-19 cases reported to each B.C. health region, to Jan. 20, 2021. Island Health in blue, Northern Health green, Interior Health orange, Vancouver Coastal in red and Fraser Health in purple. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays stable with 508 cases Friday

Vaccine delivered to more than 110,000 high-risk people

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘It’s incredibly upsetting’: Kelowna health care worker demands WestJet ticket refund

Kelowna woman has been waiting almost a year for a refund on her Kelowna to Edmonton flight

The District of Saanich’s communications team decided to take part in a viral trend on Thursday and photoshopped U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders into a staff meeting photo. (District of Saanich/Twitter)
Bernie Sanders makes guest appearance municipal staff meeting in B.C.

Vancouver Island firefighters jump on viral trend of photoshopped U.S. senator

Most Read