It has come to the attention of Coquitlam Search and Rescue that a reality TV show called Curse of the Frozen Gold has recently begun airing on History Television Canada.
Curse of the Frozen Gold focuses on the search for gold at the northern end of Pitt Lake, which is a rugged and difficult to reach portion of Coquitlam SAR’s response area. The inaccessibility of the area raises the level of concern members of the team have for potential gold seekers venturing into the area.
While the team recognizes that Reality TV is created for entertainment purposes, Coquitlam SAR would like to remind the public that depiction of the terrain, access, and events in the upper Pitt River Valley may not match with the reality of travelling in this area.
For example, in 2011 three hikers became stranded in the DeBeck Creek area and, with no cell service available, activated a personal locator beacon to call for rescue. Despite knowing their location to within a few hundred metres, Coquitlam SAR was unable to access the area for 24 hours due to extreme weather and rugged terrain. Even after the hikers were located, a helicopter supported long line rescue team was required for their safe extraction.
Responses to the northern end of Pitt Lake are complicated by the remote location, communications challenges, and the length of time required to transport search crews and equipment to the area.
Coquitlam SAR would like to stress that anyone wishing to venture into the upper Pitt River valley must be exceptionally well prepared and possess solid navigation and survival skills. Search and rescue can take a lot longer than depicted on television.
- Debeck Creek Rescue 2011
- The Ten Essentials for Backcountry Travel
- Cell Phones and Rescue
- Search Areas – Pitt Lake