Evacuation Epic


The sun was shining from a clear blue sky, the skiing through hoar frosted powder as good as it gets, a group of ripping skiers laughing and sharing an incredible day. I watched a relatively minor miscalculation and fall onto an unfortunately positioned concealed rock, and in a moment was faced with evacuating a hurting young man and potential spinal injury from a remote backcountry location. With lots of teamwork we hauled (strenuous postholing) a stretcher and spineboard up to our injured skier, packaged him, then back down and into the snowcat, down the cat-skiing roads, transferred to a snowmobile and trailer to negotiate 16km of snowed-over logging road (the alpenglow transcendent), into the back of my pickup and 30km to the hospital in Nelson. An exhausting 31/2 hr epic that ended well, with no hypothermia and only a non-critical fractured vertebrae and bruising.

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