How would you feel if you were trapped under hundreds of pounds of snow from head to foot, sideways with only one arm able to move? Not your idea of a good time? It turned out to be a miraculous time for one Swiss man and a powerful evidence of his faith and tenacity. Let’s call him “Hans” and say he is 25 years old. Hans went on top of the local mountain one afternoon for a few runs. Fortunately, he told his family which runs he would be on since he was by himself. Even more fortunately (or skillfully) he sent some pictures of his shushes down the slopes to them at home. So far all fun…until the mountain decided it was time to move the snow. An avalanche covered him and the trees and landscape around him with several feet of white stuff. Hans was reported missing at 5:41pm after he failed to return from a ski touring expedition. His family called the ski patrol and they found his car in the area parking lot and even saw tracks in the snow as Hans made his way to the top of the mountain.
In the meantime, Hans was buried in snow for about 6 hours and clung to the hope that somebody would come looking for him and somehow find him under all this stuff. He could breath and was able to get one arm out above the snow, but the rest of his body was locked in a death grip. As the clock ticked, he felt himself going into hypothermia. Air Glaciers search and rescue was alerted and sent a helicopter to the area on the mountain they thought Hans had last been. While these Air Glaciers guys are the consummate pro’s even spotting poor Hans in the evening light in a sea of white flying on the side of mountain 90 feet above the ground, trying to hold a spotlight was a miracle. Hans helped, because when he heard the helicopter above him, he started waving the only thing he could move, his free arm. As you can see from the helicopter camera it was almost beyond high skill to miracle that someone noticed that puny gray thing moving on the white snow while hovering 90 feet above. But they did. The team dropped a crew member from the helicopter to the ground, He started digging Hans out and provided a radio beacon for ground-based crews to assist in Hans escape from the clutches of Mother Nature. Within an hour Air Glaciers was able to pull Hans up to the helicopter and get him to a hospital for observation. Kudo’s to the rescuers, but if you go skiing take a partner and wear an avalanche beacon.
Somebody asked me recently why I took up downhill skiing.
I told them uphill skiing was far too difficult.
The only sport where you can spend an arm and a leg to break an arm and a leg.
I went skiing for the first time.
I became a tree hugger.
Skiing may be a winter activity, but some think of it as a fall sport.
March 8th Birthdays
1963 – Kathy Ireland, 1902 – Louise Beqavers, 1936 – Sue Ane Langdon, 1954 – Cheryl Baker
1974 – Steve Sarkisian, 1992 – Devon Workheiser, 1977 – Heinz Ward, 1988 – James Van Der Beek