30 October 2009

Aussie (another one) rescued from Canadian mountain

It was reported in today's Age (Australia) that an Australian bushwalker has been found cold and wet but otherwise fine after spending the night in the snow and rain on North Vancouver's Grouse Mountain.

The person in question, Frederick Hayes, 24, wore only light trackpants and a hoodie jacket, with no torch or any other gear, and became separated from friends on the bushwalk at about 5pm the previous day.

Now, this is a mountain trail, in Canada, not some tropical paradise where daylight hours are long, the temperature warm and humid. One must know that it snows on mountains, in Canada. Mr. Hayes is very lucky to have been found alive by the North Shore Rescue volunteers. The rescue leader said "There's three inches (75mm) of snow on the ground, so we really want to appeal to the commonsense of the people who do hike these trails," he said. "I have to be very upfront and honest with you, these kind of (emergency) calls strain search and rescue (crews) because we are a volunteer organisation and all of us have to be at work in the morning."

I couldn't agree more with the resue leader.

Australians seem to be an adventurous bunch. I have nothing against Australians nor against adventurers hikers, but they should be appropriately geared with, among others, maps and compasses (I think - I'm not a hiker), as well as properly attired. Because when they get into trouble, they then cause a whole rescue mission to be activated, which in this case was made up of volunteers. Otherwise, it would be official search and rescue missions costing tax payer dollars. And more than that, rescue personnel also take on risks in any recue mission.

Not too long ago, another Australian, no less than the Victorian state Minister Tim Holding was lost on Mount Feathertop in Victoria's Alpine National Park. His rescue involved the use of "aerial support", all in all costing a pretty penny, no doubt.

And the lesson here? Think a little about your own safety and that of others when you attempt that hike or walk for your pure leisure and hunger for adventure.


  1. Most Australians are pretty dumb - that is the one thing I love about these people. Ignorance is bliss I guess.