This weekend’s edition of the Ottawa Citizen had a very good article to remind people of the dangers of winter. On one hand, the reporter was telling the news; one the other hand, the reporter was also making a statement to remind readers of the many dangers winter activities.
The article covered the story of two couples who had gone hiking in Gatineau Park on Thursday, December 27th (the day of the last big snowfall). The couples must have become separated, because when an off-duty rescue worker came across one of the couples in the parking lot, they told him that their friends had gotten lost hiking on the Wolf Loop, trail No. 62. Adrian Beaudin, a member of the volunteer group Search and Rescue Global 1, had been snowshoeing with a friend when they came across the couple in the parking lot. He and his friend set off to find the lost couple. He knew how difficult it could be to read the trails this time of year. They found the couple at 12:30am – the man was injured and the woman was experiencing the effects of hypothermia. Adrian radioed for help and stayed with the couple, too cold and injured to go on, until help could arrive. He kept talking to them to help keep them calm.
Reading this article brings to mind some of the basic survival/preparedness tips that we have been learning in class. First and foremost, the couples should really have check the weather conditions before heading out on a hike that day – it was a very stormy day to begin with. Secondly, they should have been more prepared in case something did go wrong with their hike. They did not seem to have any way to communicate with anyone that they were lost and in trouble. They also did not have any basic survival equipment with them to help keep warm. Finally, after having gone cross-country skiing today with my family, I can easily see how people can become confused about the trails, even on a clear sunny day like today. In the end, the lesson told: know your weather conditions, be prepared and know the area you are going to!
Levinson, Robin. ” Hurt, chilled pair found on remote trial – Rescuers track down man, woman in Gatineau Park after midnight”, The Ottawa Citizen, Saturday, December 29, 2012, E1-2, Print