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Cell Phones Partially to Blame for Steady Rise in BC Rescues

Sept. 11, 2017 – More Interior residents are getting lost in the woods because they’re relying on their cell phones.

The British Columbia Search and Rescue Association released a graph this week that, despite more efforts made at education, shows a steady rise in the number of BC rescues required year to year.

The graph goes back to the early 1990’s when there were between 400 and 600 SAR volunteer deployments in B.C. The number rose to around 700 per year by end of the century.

Since then, the number of rescues required in the B.C. backcountry has reached more than 1,600.

AdventureSmart Provincial Coordinator Sandra Riches admits it’s disappointing.

“It’s somewhat surprising and frustrating,” she says. “We’ve been educating British Columbians for up to 14 years. I know we are making a difference but I would love to see a decrease in those numbers.”

Riches says a growing population and easier access to the backcountry have contributed to the increase, but says our love affair with our cell phones is getting more and more people in trouble.

“They definitely are getting way too reliant on those phones,” she says. “Most of us can’t live without them. People are now relying on them as their communication device, their navigation device and their light source.”

Globe & Mail: Family in High Places

Aug. 7, 2017 – A little fitness, a good pair of boots and a sense of adventure are all you need to hike British Columbia’s mammoth Selkirk Mountains, David Ebner writes. Or are they? An off-trail excursion with his mother puts that thinking to the test.

The mountain slope is steep. If we were skiing, this would be a double black diamond, an ideal challenge on a descent buried in snow, as it is through the long winter. Instead, the month is August and we are hiking, the sun high in the mid-afternoon on a beautiful day, the Selkirk Mountains all around us. The Durrand Glacier backcountry chalet, where we set out from, is in the distance.

Emergency Resources for BC’s Tourism Industry

July 11, 2017 – As you know, there are some areas of the province currently dealing with wildfires, impacting visitors and businesses, and potentially influencing those who may be planning a trip to our province.

Stay Safe, Stay Informed. During times of stress and uncertainty, it is important to share information from official sources only. There are a variety of resources available to help you prepare for emergencies, gather up-to-date information and help visitors plan their travel.

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