in case yr too lazy to go to the full story ;)
"More than 85 per cent of the calls from overdue backcountry skiers that we (respond to) involve people that have overnighted," said Whistler SAR team manager Brad Sills, a 35-year veteran of the organization. Calls from lost parties requiring rescue usually come late in the afternoon or evening when people have exhausted all other options, but SAR is unlikely to initiate a rescue if there is little daylight left.
"We're not trying to punish people, but you cannot find people at night time," says Sills. "You can't travel outside the ski areas after dark without certain risks to the rescuers."
When SAR receives a rescue call from the RCMP it will designate an urgency rating based on the victim's age, medical conditions, the number of subjects in the party, cumulative experience in the party, the equipment carried and the weather at the time of the call.
"If you're a 13-year-old girl by yourself with diabetes, we're going to go out because you're probably not going to make it through the night," says Sills. "If you're a 30-year-old male with two buddies with no medical conditions, and the weather is -4C, chances are you're going to be spending the night out."
Sills reinforces that a night out in the backcountry is not as difficult or scary as it sounds providing travellers are adequately prepared. That means carrying more than the minimal survival gear of a transceiver, shovel and probe (see sidebar for complete equipment list.)
"Of that 85 per cent (of unprepared travellers) that we are called to assist, most have virtually no gear at all. They have the clothes on their back, a candy bar and if they are smokers they may have a lighter. Those are the people that are the most at risk of having a really poor night."