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Winter Hiking Tips From LBSAR

The end of Daylight Saving Time means headlamps are a must

As the calendar turns to November, Lions Bay Search and Rescue (LBSAR) manager Ed Langford offers some timely tips for hiking in the closing months of the year.

Langford notes that there is already about a foot of snow in some areas along the Lions ridge. "It's light and fluffy and a perfect way to break a leg as you don’t know what you're stepping on."

He adds that the combination of warm days and clear nights means that ice has already formed, making micro spikes or similar traction devices are a must once you get above the snow level.

On a recent trip up the mountain, Langford observed a number of under-prepared hiking groups. "They were wearing marginal gear," he says. "Runners, jeans, shorts and some with no packs. One twist of an ankle could lead to hypothermia setting in very quickly."

Langford says that with the upcoming time change, using headlamps will be critical. "And as always, the ten essentials and a charged cell phone should be carried by all venturing into the back country." The cell phone is for calling 911, not for use as a flashlight, and a proper flashlight or headlamp is also an essential.

Langford said that while last weekend's helicopter action was related to maintenance activity as LBSAR restocked gear in emergency caches ahead of winter, it's a reminder that the weather is changing, and anyone venturing onto the trails should be prepared.

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