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Show ALL Forums  > British Columbia  > Prompt searching can save lives on ski-hills      Home login  
 AUTHOR
 WesternRose
Joined: 1/14/2008
Msg: 2
Prompt searching can save lives on ski-hillsPage 1 of 2    (1, 2)
I was thinking about Lost Hikers and Snowboarders this afternoon as the helicopter was hovering over my place and doing a grid search.

the day after a Long Weekend.... Spring...sun is shining...the allure of the North Shore mountains with a sprinkling of snow on them....how lovely....let's get on our summer clothes....and our sandals and go venture out this weekend!....oh yeah!...

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR
LOST HIKER SEASON has begun!!!!!

and I am sick and tired of it. North Shore Search and Rescue is a volunteer organization.... not supported by the government or their funds.... supported by fundraising efforts of our community.
The members of the team are volunteers who put their lives at risk to go look for you dumbarse people who go up into the hills and trails unprepared.
The members take time off work and they pay for a lot of their own equipment and clothing. It is a service they provide because of they care. They are out there practically every long weekend.... I see them out on Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter....their family worry and miss them...they are out doing their work.

Freaking hell I was wondering....perhaps Mt Seymour and Cypress should do a routine check of the people who are renting snowshoes....are they dressed properly?...are they with an experienced guide?...if not.. inform them that they must have one with them and provide them with a guide at a cost to them.
No touristas in sandals and shorts... no first timers going on a 10 hour hike in the snow.

You have no right venturing up into the hills and trails if you don't know what you are doing. If you are not prepared for the change in weather and you are not dressed properly.... hat, coat, sweaters, shoes/boots, carrying an emergency kit.
Leave a note as to where you are hiking....what day and time you left and when you are going to return.
Sign in at the entry point at the park...and sign out when you are leaving.

I live up in Lynn Canyon.... if I am hiking up towards Lynn Peak.... I sign in.... and I always carry an emergency pack, water, snack ... and my phone, and I dress properly and prepared if something were to happen such as a twisted ankle or an injury...or if I bump into someone in need of assistance.
 Walts
Joined: 5/7/2005
Msg: 3
Prompt searching can save lives on ski-hills
Posted: 3/25/2008 4:15:27 PM
I still remember a group(2-3) that got lost hiking. They were found the next day without any clothes on, except for underwear!!! They explained they tried burning their clothes on their backs trying to keep warm

THAT is the mentality and the intelligence you are dealing with Tyeee. Good luck on trying to save "those" lives. If they don't do themselves in on a mountain, I'm sure they will take care of themselves closer to sea level. After awhile each year, you can hear the desperation in the voices of the North Shore Rescue group after a couple of rescues.They get a little tired of it also.
 bcboy72
Joined: 3/16/2005
Msg: 5
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Prompt searching can save lives on ski-hills
Posted: 3/25/2008 4:58:10 PM
While the idea is sound, the cost effectiveness likely isn't. Ski hills are already ridiculously expensive as it is. Average adult lift ticket is 50-75? (whistler/blackcomb is 80? ) bucks..include a spouse, kids, fuel and lunch at the hill..and you have yourself a 500 buck day. A system as complex (and yes, it would be complex) as this would likely add to that cost greatly. Somewhere the cost of the transmitter and beacon would have to be incorporated.
 FunnyAndSweet48
Joined: 8/21/2007
Msg: 6
Prompt searching can save lives on ski-hills
Posted: 3/25/2008 5:16:34 PM
As long as there are people on hiking trails, on the water & on the slopes who truly believe they're invincible & accidents only happen to other people & not them, the search & rescue folk will have their work cut out for them. These invincible folk, primarily our youth, are usually the ones who regard people who do go out prepared for emergencies, as 'fear-based pessimists' rather than seeing them as people who value their lives enough to take precautionary measures just in case something goes wrong. Silly people will continue to do silly things & as hard as you try, sometimes you can't knock any sense into them. Unfortunately, it often takes a personal crisis to give them a reality check.
 WesternRose
Joined: 1/14/2008
Msg: 7
Prompt searching can save lives on ski-hills
Posted: 3/25/2008 5:23:13 PM
Well there is no age limit to being reckless or silly from my view of things.

a lot of those foolish types who choose to ski out of bounds....or hike beyond their ability or those who venture out ill-prepared or ill-trained, or physically unprepared....well they range from teens to late 80s easily... poor judgement and over-confidence has no age barrier.

maybe it is the Girl Scout in me...but I am a believer in the motto: Be Prepared
 Walts
Joined: 5/7/2005
Msg: 9
Prompt searching can save lives on ski-hills
Posted: 3/25/2008 7:10:42 PM
Consider how my proposed concept would be appreciated in the current search for the young Japanese woman who wasn't even reported missing for several days.


I think if she had followed the "rules" of backcountry, such as, where are you going,when are you going to be home, etc,etc., she would be home already or the search started the next morning. The family that she was staying with could of phoned somebody if they actually knew she was missing. Don't know all the details, but I bet the young lady lived in a private suite in that family's home and thus, not knowing???? I know everytime I head to a river, lake,whatever,and the daughter isn't home, a note is left on the table, the neighbours (or at least one of them), know of most of my particulars of my trip, ( a day one, or a month one).
People also forget here(especially the newly arrivals)forget that just because it's a half hour drive "up" the mountain from Vancouver, it is the bush. Again, see my comment about the burning of the clothes. OMG,,,I'm laughing again.(yeah,,, I know,,, it's a serious thread, I'm just thinkin Darwin again.)
 WesternRose
Joined: 1/14/2008
Msg: 11
Prompt searching can save lives on ski-hills
Posted: 3/25/2008 8:08:37 PM
un~leash who would you blame if something happened to your son while he was snowboarding out of bounds?
I am just curious here. I am a mom and I tell you it kills me a little everytime I hear of NSSR having to haul out the body of some daredevil snowboarder off the hills, and to see his/hers distraught parents.

Prevention is the key. Don't go out of bounds.
How many signs and warnings and fencing must be put up to stop the daredevils?

Don't drink and drive.
Wear your seatbelts.
Wear your helmet.
Don't smoke.
....so yeah... people do it... so stop it!
 bcboy72
Joined: 3/16/2005
Msg: 14
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Prompt searching can save lives on ski-hills
Posted: 3/25/2008 8:24:33 PM
Cost would be astronomical for what you are talking...there would be no "mass" production per se....You are talking independant signals for every individual user...with "emergency notification" capabilities. The frequency range necessary would be ridiculous..

Pack a cell phone. Most hills they are usable.

-edit Once again..the principle is great. Once the Govt. inserts that chip in the back of everyone's ID, or skull, the tracking would be much easier.
 FunnyAndSweet48
Joined: 8/21/2007
Msg: 17
Prompt searching can save lives on ski-hills
Posted: 3/26/2008 1:16:06 AM
I'd probably make some typos if the right gal made me such an offer.

Right gal here but wrong offer! Or is that right offer here but wrong gal?
Don't mind me. I'm just trying to be funny but it obviously isn't working very well 'cause I have absolutely no idea what I'm lamely attempting to be witty about.

And yeah, ML is extremely secretive but I too suspect that he always has a private audience at his beck & call.
 FunnyAndSweet48
Joined: 8/21/2007
Msg: 20
Prompt searching can save lives on ski-hills
Posted: 3/26/2008 12:11:15 PM
However disaster can strike the wise, cautious and well-prepared as well.

For sure. About 5 years ago, my ex & I were canoeing back to shore from our l'il make-shift campsite at the edge of the lake. It was a warm, bright & sunny day but suddenly the sky turned dark & a thunderstorm stuck. The waters quickly became rough & the waves began hitting the side of the canoe & almost flipped us & all our gear one too many times. We were being pushed towards the rocks at the edge of the shore making it difficult to head in the direction we needed to go even though we were both experienced canoeists.

We weren't making any progess because the waves kept pushing us back, so we got out & began wading in chest-deep waters along the edge of the shore, holding our friend's canoe between us so it wouldn't get damaged from being bashed upon the rocks by the waves. We would have eventually made it back to shore except we ran out of shallow rocks to walk on along the shore when the rock face became vertical. We started swimming with the canoe but the waves kept broadsiding us & smacking us against the rocks. The problem was that all the boaters used the opposite side of the lake to head into open waters & by this time, most of the boaters had already headed back to shore to get out of the storm.

Several prayers later, an older couple who were taking their granddaughter out on their brand new boat for the first time, moseyed along our side of the lake. Thank God they hadn't realized that boaters were supposed to use the other side of the lake. We hollered at them but they couldn't see us & they couldn't hear us yelling out amidst the rain, thunder & lightning. So we fought the strong waves & swam away from the shore towards the middle of the lake while yelling out at them. They were just turning around to head back to shore when one of them caught a glimpse of our red life vests & came to our rescue.

I was never more thankful that my parents had enrolled me in competitive swimming as a child & teenager & could only imagine how terrifying this experience would have been for a non-swimmer. I was also thankful that my ex & I were both gym rats so we were strong & in excellent shape. We were all cut up & bruised from being bashed against the rocks & completely exhausted from wading in the water for several hours fighting the waves ..... but at least our friend's canoe didn't suffer any damage.
 surrey_male
Joined: 5/31/2007
Msg: 21
Prompt searching can save lives on ski-hills
Posted: 3/26/2008 10:19:35 PM
Learning of a desperate search for yet another user on British Columbia ski-hill


OP. Do you have any statistical data which states how many skiers go missing while skiing within the marked boundaries at BC's ski hills in comparison to the ones who need rescuing due to jumping the ski area boundaries? My guess is it will be a very small percentage of in bounds skiers that get lost, likely less than 1 percent. I think it would be a similar result if you searched the same criteria for the past 10, 20, or 30 years. The simple fact is that few people, if any, get lost while skiing in bounds. The people who get lost and need rescuing are the ones that disregard the ski hill's marked boundaries.

The reason why the statistics will be so low is simple if you think it through. Ski hills need a lot of skiers on them in order to make money. This is evidenced by the long lift lines we all face after each run. Further evidence is provided when one looks at the lack of open space on the runs themselves. Getting lost in an environment such as that is nearly impossible. If you don't know where you are just wait for 30 seconds and ask the next skier who comes by, or just follow them to the chair lift. I realize you're not a skier and likely have no point of reference in this regard so I'll put it this way. Go to a mall on a busy Saturday and try to get lost. You won't be able to, and if you do, just ask the next shopper strolling by to tell you where you are.

When a skier decides to go out of bounds they do so with the knowledge that they're on their own and have only their wits to help them if they find themselves in a bad situation. This in itself helps limit the numbers of people who ski out of bounds yet every year we hear more stories of the volunteer search and rescue teams going out in ungodly conditions to rescue some powderhound. Your idea will simply make it easier for more people to ski out of bounds as they'll assume they'll be rescued more quickly when they find themselves to be lost. Unfortunately it would be a false sense of security as they may well get themselves into a dangerous area which would require a technically demanding high angle rescue. Worse still is the speed with which the weather changes in the back country which would make the rescuers job much more dangerous as well.

Tracking devices would result in more people skiing out of bounds and therefore more rescues needing to be carried out by the already overburdened search and rescue teams. Simply eliminating the search part of a search and rescue does not automatically make the rescue part any easier. I would be unwilling to pay any type of deposit for any type of tracking device just so some yahoo can feel safer when they feed their desire to go skiing in an area where they simply shouldn't be.
 viper6996
Joined: 2/20/2008
Msg: 24
Prompt searching can save lives on ski-hills
Posted: 4/8/2008 10:30:27 AM

Cost would be astronomical for what you are talking...there would be no "mass" production per se....You are talking independant signals for every individual user...with "emergency notification" capabilities. The frequency range necessary would be ridiculous..


I hear what you are saying, how about the idea of everyone that goes outdoors is required to have a cellphone and SAR's are equipped with mobile cell scanners that can ping all cell channels rapid fire thus allowing rescue crews to vector on the supected signal.

Would that be too far feteched?
 viper6996
Joined: 2/20/2008
Msg: 25
Prompt searching can save lives on ski-hills
Posted: 4/8/2008 3:13:07 PM
I agree with you, but what I am thinking about is akin to sonar buoys fired into a 100 square mile area around the missing person suspected area using rapid scan of cell frequency and wait for a bounce back. Allow the buoys to report back and vector the ping. Effectively making 6- 10 mini cell towers NOT using existing systems but making a mini tower system for rescue.

Most cell phones now last at least a week and they are always pinging out looking for a tower.

Even if each buoy cost $500.00 what would be the downside? They could be deployed from a Chinook, Huey or an all weather Wart Hog, contract with US for AWAC patrol and location.

A little out of the box I know but,,,any thoughts?
 viper6996
Joined: 2/20/2008
Msg: 26
Prompt searching can save lives on ski-hills
Posted: 4/8/2008 3:45:00 PM
Cost? who cares, make a summer project for students for recovering buoys.

Yes, the cell phone would have to on, not looking to make a call just find the person.

But I do hear what you are saying.
 bcboy72
Joined: 3/16/2005
Msg: 27
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Prompt searching can save lives on ski-hills
Posted: 4/8/2008 3:51:38 PM
It is unfortunate that these things happen to the innocent..but they do happen. 3 days later, not even cell phone pinging would have helped her.

The easiest and most cost effective way to save the people that abide by the rules is the buddy system. That goes hand in hand with knowing your limit (capability) and playing within it..(yes, stole that from the gaming commission). I am not saying that factored here...but a buddy would have saved her life.
 jetty65
Joined: 4/3/2008
Msg: 29
Prompt searching can save lives on ski-hills
Posted: 4/13/2008 9:55:39 AM
Unfortunately this same hikers / snowboarders who cant invest in a simple map to know where they are going arent going to invest in a GPS system either. Yes ive heard of these devises that the serious mountain climbers use to be found should they get caught in an avalanche but the amateur inexperienced hikers the ones that really need these devises dont use them. Nor do they bring along suitable survival gear. Its not cool i guess.
 Entzauberung
Joined: 2/12/2009
Msg: 31
Prompt searching can save lives on ski-hills
Posted: 1/12/2010 9:49:25 PM
A couple of months ago an elderly gentleman came to me for help. He was going to travel alone in the USA and to put his family at ease he'd bought a GPS tracking device and needed technical assistance getting it set up.

So we visited the vendor's website and created an account for him and activated his device. Then we entered the email addresses and phone numbers of his three children.

We programmed the OK status message "Dad just checking in, I'm okay."

We also programmed the emergency message if he pushed the Help button... "Send money, love Dad!"

To test it, we put me on his contact list and then "checked in". I got an email message which included his location (my front yard). I was quite impressed with the system..

So recently a friend told me that she is trekking off to the backroads of a foreign country, and her family was not too happy, not having a way to know if she is safe. So I suggested she get one of these devices and found the website for her.

Then I remembered this topic and am surprised to learn that the system is the very same one mentioned above in Msg 36

SPOT. THE WORLD’S FIRST SATELLITE MESSENGER.

www.findmespot.com


It was reassuring to have the hands-on experience with the SPOT.

So I'm thinking if I had family that was prone to skiing out of bounds, or venturing into the back country I'd encourage them to get a SPOT too, even buy it for them if need be. The money would be of little consequence if they got in trouble and quickly locating them might save their lives.
 Wind Doe
Joined: 8/29/2009
Msg: 32
Prompt searching can save lives on ski-hills
Posted: 1/18/2010 5:26:59 PM
How about they don't go out of bounds and stick to patrolled runs? Plain and simple!
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