Columbia Valley Pioneer staff

Columbia Valley Search and Rescue (SAR) is sending out a friendly alert to backcountry enthusiasts to be careful out there.

The volunteer group says winter is approaching and that a lot of early season hazards exist just under the surface (hiding hard objects that can damage your skis, snowmobile or your body).    

“Our glaciers have also taken a big hit from a hot summer,” SAR says on its Facebook page. “Lots of melt and change have created new crevasses as well as a growing complexity to the crevasses. What you once knew about the glacier may not be true anymore.”

SAR points out that snow depths on the ice are also minimal with poor bonding, making glacier travel especially risky. “Make sure you carry the appropriate glacier travel, rope rescue and avalanche rescue equipment and make sure everyone knows how to use it.”

SAR advises people to practise their crevasse rescue and avalanche rescue skills with their friends at home while the snow accumulates in the mountains.