Safety & Risk Awareness

 

SAFETY AND RISK AWARENESS

Prior to registering for a trip, we ask all participants to review the information on this webpage carefully.

 

Safety

For the safety of all trip participants and guides, Black Feather requires that all participants follow these points:

  1. Review and agree to the 1) terms & conditions and 2) waiver & release. Click on the links to access the documents.
  2. Review the 1) Trip Package (request via email) and 2) First Step documents to ensure that your skill level, fitness and health are appropriate to the skill level and activity required on your chosen trip(s).
  3. Ensure that your personal equipment is appropriate for the Wilderness Activity you intend to join. In the case any of your equipment is deemed inadequate, ensure you are outfitted appropriately.
  4. Listen to and follow instructions and procedures outlined by your guides.
  5. Wear and use the required safety equipment provided.
  6. Attend group briefings held by your guides.
  7. Make personal decisions that will positively affect the well-being and safety of yourself and each member of your group.
  8. Disclose any injury or illness on your application form prior to the trip and to your guide at the outset of the trip and/or during the trip if any injury or illness commences.
  9. Undertake activities where you will be separated from your group only after consultation with your guide.

 

Risk Awareness

In the following text, the term "Wilderness Activities" shall include but is not limited to:

  • hiking and backpacking
  • wildlife viewing
  • canoeing, rafting, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding
  • backcountry/arctic skiing, snowshoeing and dogsledding
  • Floe Edge excursions
  • wilderness camping and lodge accommodation

 

and all activities, services and use of facilities either provided, arranged or organized by Black Feather including orientation and instructional sessions or classes; transportation; accommodation; food, beverage and water supply; and multi-day camping or overnight trips in the outdoors.

As with many adventure sports and activities, participation in Wilderness Activities involves the risk of serious injury, including head injury, paralysis and death.

Black Feather trips often involve a combination of Wilderness Activities. Below is an outline of risks, dangers and hazards associated with each Wilderness Activity.

 

RISKS COMMON TO ALL WILDERNESS ACTIVITIES

Participating in each of the listed Wilderness Activities involves many risks, dangers and hazards including but not limited to:

  • Human Risks, Dangers & Hazards:
    • travel in remote wilderness and backcountry locations where assistance, medical and first aid services and evacuation may not be readily available and communication may be difficult or not possible
    • becoming lost or separated from your guide or group
    • negligent first aid
    • negligence of other persons
    • slips, trips and falls
    • loss of balance
    • drowning
    • hypothermia
    • miscellaneous health problems related to over-exposure to water, the sun, insect bites, fatigue, stress, dehydration, exertion, high altitude, and lack of fitness
    • infectious disease contracted through viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi which may be transmitted through direct or indirect contact with other people
  • Equipment Related Risks, Dangers & Hazards
    • accidents which occur during transportation and/or travel to and from the Wilderness Activity
    • equipment failure (mechanical and/or non-mechanical)
    • the overturning, upsetting or malfunctioning of watercraft, aircraft  or land craft used during transportation to and from the Wilderness Activity
    • sudden, violent and unexpected movement of watercraft, aircraft or land craft
  • Environmental Risks, Dangers & Hazards
    • entrapment by trees, logs, deadfall, ice, snow, rocks or equipment
    • impact or collision with trees, logs, deadfall, ice, rocks, equipment or other persons
    • encounters with domestic and/or wild animals including but not limited to bears, walrus & other marine mammals, moose, wolves, dogs
    • high winds
    • variation in the terrain, water and ice conditions  
    • rock or mud slides

 

HIKING AND BACKPACKING

Participating in hiking and backpacking involves additional and specific risks, dangers and hazards including but not limited to:

  • falling from land craft travelling at high speeds onto rough terrain
  • falling onto surfaces and into currents during stream or river crossings;
  • large or irregular ocean waves;
  • accidents involving hiking, backpacking, walking on glaciers and snow, scrambling, climbing and backcountry travel;
  • accidents involving calving glacial ice and icebergs

 

WILDLIFE VIEWING

Participating in wildlife viewing involves many additional and specific risks, dangers and hazards including but not limited to:

  • falling from watercraft or land craft into open and potentially rough water;
  • falling onto surfaces and into currents during stream or river crossings;
  • large or irregular ocean waves;
  • accidents involving fishing;
  • accidents involving calving glacial ice and icebergs;
  • accidents involving close proximity to wildlife;

 

CANOEING, RAFTING, KAYAKING AND STAND UP PADDLE BOARDING

Participating in canoeing, rafting, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding involves additional and specific risks, dangers and hazards including but not limited to:

  • falling from watercraft into long sections of continuous rapids or bodies of water
  • large or irregular ocean waves
  • accidents involving fishing, hiking, backpacking, walking on glaciers and snow, scrambling, climbing and backcountry travel;
  • accidents involving calving glacial ice and icebergs;

 

BACKCOUNTRY/ARCTIC SKIING, SNOWSHOEING, NORDIC SKIING AND DOGSLEDDING:

Participating in backcountry/arctic travel, skiing, snowshoeing, Nordic skiing & dogsledding involves addtional and specific risks, dangers and hazards of travelling in rugged alpine, backcountry or wilderness environments, including but not limited to:

  • avalanches; changing weather conditions
  • exposed rock, earth, ice and other natural objects
  • trees, tree wells, tree stumps and forest deadfall;
  • the condition of snow or ice on or beneath the surface
  • variations in the terrain which may create blind spots or areas of reduced visibility
  • variations in the surface or sub-surface
  • variable and difficult snow conditions
  • streams, creeks and exposed holes in the snowpack above streams or creeks
  • rocks, boulders, crevasses, cliffs, gullies and ravines
  • snowcat roads, road-banks or cut-banks
  • collision with natural or man-made objects adjacent to or on the trails
  • snow immersion
  • failure to ski or snowshoe safely or within one’s own ability

 

FLOE EDGE EXCURSIONS

Participating in Floe Edge excursions involves additional and specific risks, dangers and hazards including but not limited to:

  • falling from watercraft or land craft (komatik, sled, snow-machine) into open and potentially rough water
  • snow, rock or mud slides
  • large or irregular ocean waves
  • accidents involving fishing; hiking, walking on glaciers and snow, scrambling, climbing and backcountry travel
  • accidents involving calving glacial ice and icebergs

 

WILDERNESS CAMPING AND LODGE ACCOMMODATION

Participating in wilderness camping or lodge accommodation involves additional and specific risks, dangers and hazards including but not limited to:

  • accidents which occur during set up of camp, including tents, tarps, kitchen area;
  • the overturning or upsetting of tents, tarp, other campsite equipment;
  • sudden, violent and unexpected movement of camping equipment;
  • accidents due to cooking over an open fire or camping stove;
  • accidents within a wilderness lodge including but not limited to slipping on floors, stairs, bathroom facilities;
  • fire at a wilderness lodge causing loss of accommodation, injury or death
  • allergic reactions sustained from ingesting food prepared while camping or while at lodge accommodation