Staying Safe in the Shoulder Season

Shoulder seasons can be tricky, so it’s no surprise Search and Rescue see a jump in callouts every spring. From wildly unpredictable weather, to thinning lake ice and raging rivers filled with debris (not to mention bears awakening from winter slumber), spring is at once exciting and worthy of respect. Here are a few things to watch for when recreating outdoors this year.

by Oliver Holt

 

Plan for Changing and Incremental Weather

It’s recommended that you have suitable rain gear and thermal layers to protect you from the temperamental weather that often can catch you by surprise during spring recreation.

 

Be Mindful of Wildlife

Be bear aware as bears will start to emerge from their winter dens and will be active in the spring. Also, be mindful of cow moose with newly born calves as they can be defensive and even charge. For more information please visit: wildsafe.com

 

Expect snow and potentially dangerous avalanche conditions to persist during much of the spring in alpine areas.

 

Respect all Rivers and Stream During Freshet

The best practice is to avoid hanging around or traveling along any river or creek edge during spring melt when they are raging and water temperatures are frigid. Remember rivers can rise quickly in spring, be mindful of where you decide to camp, and avoid camping in close proximities to creeks and rivers.

 

Lingering Snow and Spring Avalanches

Much of the alpine areas will be much more delayed in becoming snow-free than the valley bottom. Expect snow and potentially dangerous avalanche conditions to persist during much of the spring in alpine areas. For more information on avalanche safety please visit: avalanche.ca.

 

Bug and Sun Protection

A day spent being bitten by mosquitos and/or black flies, or prolonged exposure to the sun can influence your ability to make good decisions. Be sure to protect yourself from too much bug and sun exposure i.e., apply bug spray, wear some kind of head and face covering like a neck gaiter, apply sunscreen, wear long-sleeve shirts and a hat.