Mountain Lessons: Summer Skiing Slide for Life

I looked down at Diamond Lake below. Then I looked ahead. Boy this snow is slippery, I thought to myself. I looked down at the snow that led almost all the way to the lake below. At least if I fall, I have a clean run-out.

One, two, three, maybe four steps later…. Woosh! One foot slipped, then the other. I tried to use my ice axe to self arrest but by the time I even had a chance to think about it I was flying down the snow on my back, with my backpack weighing me down. I could not flip over to use my ice axe to self-arrest.

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Mountain Lessons: Helping an Injured Skier on Fletcher Mountain

We decided to continue to approach them, and see if they needed help. There were two skiers, one injured and one not. They explained that they had approached from the other side and that their first skier to drop in to the line, Josh Barilar, had gotten caught up on some wet slough which had steered him into the rock wall that lined the side of the chute. He then fell into the moat, the deep gap that forms between snow and rock walls. His ski was broken and he had a severe laceration on his leg which squirted blood out every time they tried to move him. In fact I could see the splatter of blood on the rock wall.

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