Search and Rescue teams throughout BC take part in wilderness education, or what we sometimes like to call “preventative SAR” and Coquitlam SAR is no exception. However, this week the team will take our SAR prevention efforts to a new level with a trail marking project that aims to increase safety, and reduce the number of lost people in the area.
With funding from Buntzen Lake Wardens (BC Hydro), BC Parks, the Valley Outdoor Association, the Federation of Mountain Clubs of BC (FMCBC) and Coquitlam SAR, we’ve arranged for the purchase of several hundred reflective trail markers. The project will begin marking trails on Eagle Ridge in high priority areas where the team has noticed a large number of people having trouble and getting lost, including three parties this year alone.
In fact, the team was called out Sunday night for another search on Eagle Ridge where two hikers were lost. Fortunately they found their way out via trails to Westwood Plateau.
The project, led by SAR member Steve Chapman and with participation from BC Parks and local hikers will begin the project tomorrow (Wednesday August 12th, 2015), with a reconnaissance of Eagle Ridge from Swan Falls to Halvor Lunden trail, and follow that up with the commencement of trail marking on Saturday August 15th. Steve is particularly qualified for this project, having just completed a map of the hiking trails in the Tri-Cities which is publicly available, and now forms the basis for our SAR operations in the area.
The project will continue to run throughout the summer, and will encompass hiking trails on Eagle Ridge and Burke Mountain. Trail marking will be done to BC Parks standards, and will include trail names, distances and other details.
Mountain Bike trails will not be marked as these are typically maintained by their own user groups and the team hasn’t noticed many people getting lost.