Local firefighters featured in TourismBC video

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The North Peace Region is the perfect location for outdoor activities, according to two …

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The North Peace Region is the perfect location for outdoor activities, according to two local adventurers.

Fort St. John firefighters Ryan Bowie and Matt Dawes are the subjects of TourismBC’s latest video titled “Winter Adventure in Hudson’s Hope”.

Bowie says a little effort can lead to some amazing discoveries.

“Put on your boots and, put in the kilometers. You’ll find what you’re looking for.”

What these two explorers found in 2019 was a never before climbed frozen waterfall.

“The ice line that we call ‘The Bean and the Butcher’ is the crown jewel of the Peace Region. Most people don’t know it exists.”

An Instagram post caught the attention of 6ix Sigma, a production company located in Northern B.C.

They wanted to showcase the Hudson’s Hope area, and joined the firefighters for a closer look. What they captured is one of the most challenging ice walls in the region.

Dawes explains what makes this feature so difficult.

“The Bean and the Butcher is around 60 metres high, so it’s not the highest in the area, but it’s definitely the most sustained for vertical ice.”

The ice wall is categorized as “water ice five”, meaning it is a vertical climb with strenuous stances, making it tough to install protective devices.

Dawes admits that ice climbing is inherently dangerous. Despite his attention to safety, he’s no stranger to close calls.

One such incident happened when he was just starting out in Tumbler Ridge.

“Luckily, none of us were injured or anything, but it was definitely a close call where almost a vehicle sized piece of ice had let go.”

There are two safety tips that Dawes is familiar with in his profession. The rules apply to outdoor adventure as well.

“You just need to take your time and slowly, consistently climb higher grades, so that you’re well within your ability.

“You always want to have a climbing partner with you. That way you can do a buddy check and make sure your knots are properly tied and secure.

“You’re sharing a rope together and you put a lot of trust in that person, because it could be your life on the line if something goes wrong.”

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