by carly_mchugh | 27 February 2023 8:32 am
After recently being stranded and rescued on a snowshoe trail in Cape Breton, N.S., a woman has expressed her concerns about the lack of signage and trail markers in the area.
According to a CBC News report, Heather Smith and her family were visiting the island to take part in some winter activities. While her son went snowboarding, Smith and her wife, Karen Soria, opted to go snowshoeing at Ski Cape Smokey resort in Ingonish.
In preparation for the day, the women—who are both former Canadian Armed Forces members—dressed in layers, wore clothing rated for freezing temperatures, and made sure they would have cell service.
While staff suggested they go off the designated path to visit a lookout, the couple decided to stick to the marked 1.6-km (0.62-mi) trail. However, a lack of wayfinding signage resulted in them taking what they thought was a snowmobile route down the mountain, but instead ended up being a trail on Crown land.
As they continued, Smith began to have more trouble walking due to chronic back pain from a military injury. Soria tried to call the resort, then called 911, at which point Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) were sent to the area.
Smith told CBC News they were initially told it would only take a few minutes, but the police service’s snowmobile got bogged down in the fresh snow.
Luckily, a mountain rescuer with Ski Cape Smokey happened to be out on the trails and went out with two friends to look for the couple. The group found them 3 km (1.8 mi) from the entrance to the snowshoe trail.
The friends lit a fire and helped Smith and Soria keep warm, until a local snowmobiler made his way to the scene and helped get them back safely. In total, it took two hours from the initial 911 call to find and rescue them.
Smith was treated for mild frostbite and referred to a clinic for her back pain. She told CBC News she was thankful for everyone who helped her, but she would like to see Ski Cape Smokey improve its signage and trail markings.
“Had there been adequate signage on that trail, we would have walked out, and nobody would have been listening to me right now.”
A spokesperson from the resort said they are exploring possible improvements, so a situation like this will not happen again.
Source URL: https://www.signmedia.ca/snowshoer-rescued-from-n-s-trail-highlights-lack-of-wayfinding-signage/
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