North Shore Rescue and Metro Vancouver’s ongoing collaborationNorth Shore Rescue and Metro Vancouver’s ongoing collaboration<div class="ExternalClass7B06C78A676E4581B92DA09C3A022A4A"><p>The North Shore Mountains are a familiar backdrop to Metro Vancouver’s residents and visitors. Their peaks mark the area’s northern boundaries, enclosing a region known for being on the edge of wilderness with ready access to an abundance of natural recreation opportunities. However, the same rugged conditions and accessibility that make the North Shore mountains so appealing for outdoor adventure also make it treacherous for the unprepared. Even within sight of the city, it can be easy to get lost and weather conditions can change rapidly. Each year, around 80 to 90 search and rescue operations are conducted in the local mountains.</p><p>For Metro Vancouver, the North Shore Mountains are particularly vital. The Capilano and Seymour watersheds cover large sections of this area and, as the source of much of the region’s drinking water, are carefully managed by Metro Vancouver. Although closed to the public, these vast watersheds lie adjacent to recreation areas popular with hikers, climbers, skiers and snowboarders, snowshoers and mountain bikers, setting the scene for a partnership that is unique among regional districts in Canada and exemplifies Metro Vancouver’s hands-on approach to active land management.</p><p>For over 30 years, Metro Vancouver and North Shore Rescue have benefitted from each other’s resources and expertise. When an out-of-bounds skier ends up in difficulty or a hiker injures themselves in the backcountry, North Shore Rescue is there to launch a search and rescue operation to assist them. In turn, Metro Vancouver assists North Shore Rescue by providing 24/7 access along its network of watershed roads, lending equipment when required, and offering sites within the watersheds to be used as operations staging areas that save rescue teams critical response time.</p><p>Metro Vancouver’s partnership with North Shore Rescue is perhaps most visible on the Grouse Grind hiking trail which is managed by Metro Vancouver and, with an estimated 300,000 users during the season, is the region’s most popular hike. Metro Vancouver employs two rangers, who patrol the trail and offer advice and assistance to those who are not prepared for the rigours of the 2,800-step trail. The rangers lighten the load for North Shore Rescue, who would otherwise be spending more time assisting inexperienced hikers, whose numbers only increase with the Grind’s popularity. North Shore Rescue also conducts sweeps of the trail at sunset, on behalf of Metro Vancouver, to look for hikers unable to make it off the trail before dark. These nightly patrols allow North Shore Rescue volunteers to maintain their training and fitness, another valuable by-product of the relationship with Metro Vancouver.</p><p>The overlapping services the two organizations provide to the region, and each other, makes Metro Vancouver employees well suited to taking up the responsibilities of both groups – North Shore Rescue’s team leader is a former Metro Vancouver employee, and other current employees volunteer as auxiliary members of the rescue team. This type of shared understanding of regional responsibility is what reinforces the relationship between the organizations.</p></div>|#4e0fb244-0168-4597-97b2-4c6aa54f3154;L0|#04e0fb244-0168-4597-97b2-4c6aa54f3154|Issue 22;GTSet|#d14ffe11-45dc-48fb-8684-ff109cf15a74<div class="ExternalClass56D7EAA7EDFC4386B7DFE0F66DF521E6"><p>​For over 30 years, Metro Vancouver and North Shore Rescue have benefitted from each other's resources and expertise. Each year, around 80 to 90 search and rescue operations are conducted in the local mountains, and North Shore Rescue, with assistance from Metro Vancouver, are there to help. </p></div>0North Shore Rescue equipment at the Capilano Reservoir. Picture courtesy of North Shore Rescue.