A backcountry skier’s fall into a hidden tree well was a successful rescue but it serves as a warning to others.
Based on a statement by Terrace Search and Rescue, the crews were called at around 3:20 PM to the backcountry of Shames Mountain, west of Terrace.
Two local men, in their early 40s, were skiing when one of them went missing for up to 2 hours. His partner skied up and down the mountain in search of him and on the third pass, found him in a tree well where he was buried and suspended upside down.
The man was injured, hypothermic, and could not move but was able to carve out an air pocket to help him breathe. The uninjured skier called search and rescue.
According to search manager Dave Jephson, the original plan was for the 2 men to wait on the mountain until morning for a helicopter rescue. Nevertheless, the injuries of the fallen skier initiated the crew to act right away despite the fading light.
The SAR team had to deal with fresh snow and the remoteness of the tree well. It required them to move up and down the mountains covering hundreds of meters of elevation.
The 2 men were met by the crew halfway and the SAR team moved them off the mountain and the man was transported to a healthcare facility for emergency care.
The necessity of first aid training
During emergencies, it is best that you are knowledgeable about basic first aid skills. You must enroll in first aid and CPR course to be prepared. You never know when emergencies occur and where.
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Learn how to be ready for emergencies by enrolling in our course on emergency first aid. Our courses maintain social distancing measures with reduced class sizes to maintain the minimum 2 meters apart along with the mandatory use of face masks and regular temperature checks. The venue of the courses undergo regular, enhanced cleaning and disinfection routines.
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