Safety warning for skiers after man found unconscious in Gatineau Park
Published Saturday, January 16, 2016 5:44PM EST
Last Updated Saturday, January 16, 2016 6:21PM EST
Skiers are sending out a warning after the death of a cross country skier on a Gatineau trail.
Police said a 62-year-old man was found unconscious in an isolated area in Gatineau Park on Friday. He was located by another skier who alerted emergency crews.
The man was taken out by snowmobile and transported to the Hull hospital where he later died.
Nathan Underwood said he knows the trails in Gatineau Park well.
He said there would not have been many people around at that time of day.
“The problem is he was skiing in the morning, Friday morning there’s not a lot of people up there, where if you were to sit in the exact same place today, every two minutes there will be someone,” said Underwood.
Police said the man was skiing alone at the time.
Ski patrol in the area could not comment on the situation, but are reminding those heading out to always use the buddy system.
“Hopefully you can get someone and stay with whoever is hurt at that point, if you can, if you cannot well you can to get help to this person as soon as possible because of the temperatures,” said Philippe Landreville with Camp Fortune Ski Patrol. “Sometimes it’s blowing snow and it’s very damp and there’s a lot of wind, you can get hypothermia very, very quickly,” he added.
Some safety tips provided by the National Capital Commission include planning your route, letting someone know where you are going to be and staying on a marked trail.
Underwood said part of this is because you cannot depend on technology like cell phones in the mountains.
“You can have it with you but you can’t rely on it, same with GPS, GPS can be hit and miss too because of climate type conditions,” he said.
You can find more safety tips here.