Post subject: RESTROOM BREAK LEADS TO MINI RESCUE JAN 3 2012
Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:22 pm
Joined: Sun May 08, 2005 8:42 pm Posts: 60 Location: Salinas, Ca
This is not really a trip report but it does show what can go right or wrong inside or outside ski area boundaries. Jan 3 at Heavenly Ski resort was an amazing day. Clear weather, cold temps and great snow made for some awesome inbounds riding as seen in the preceeding pic.
As the Gunbarrel lift closed my buddy Serge and myself were ready for a mogul run down to the lodge to end the day. It was 4 pm and the lifts were no longer loading uphill. We decided to traverse west as far as we could safely go to take some pics in the fading light and a restroom break. About 1/4 of a mile out we cliffed out on a nice nob to get business done and enjoy the view. As I was getting my camera ready I noticed a head below the ridge perched above about 100 ft of rocky exposure. A couple of questions revealed that we had a below average ability 19 yr old skier who couldnt turn unable to get back to the safety of the ridge. I instructed him not to move at all until we got out to him. Doing the smart thing I yelled at my buddy Serge, " Go get him". He had been party to a few search and rescues before so it was the right thing to do. Besides he was younger than me. Once he reached him and got his skiis off he passed him off to me to pull him over the crux. At this point Serge was now having difficuly reaching safety because of lack of footing on the submerged rocks. I quickly removed my skiis and dropped my pole over the side to enable him to grab on and pull himself up.
This last pic is of Serge trying to get back to safety
At this point we got our gear on and had to hang on to the kid for the next 2 hours untill we got him to the bottom of the resort in the dark where his parents picked him up. It is had to believe how lucky this kid was. We never saw another person out where we were the entire time and if not for the call of nature this would have ended up in an after hours search and rescue by professionals. Of course the lessons learned here apply everywhere. Dont travel alone unless you know the area well, let someone know where you are going, try to go with a friend, know your ability and the terrain and go prepared for the worst. I will say one thing ..the beer sure tasted good once we got back to the cabin