Posted on March 24, 2013 at 8:28 AM
EVERETT, Wash -- A backcountry skier loses a ski and falls a hundred feet near Stevens Pass Saturday, prompting a dramatic rescue.
A 27-year-old man suffered serious injuries but quick action by his friends may have saved his life.
Five members of the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Team responded around 11:30am with its SnoHawk 10 helicopter.
They noticed a problem right away.
“It was a pretty good slope on the side of that ridge, there was just no way to go in there and land in that area,” said Bill Quistorf, the chief pilot.
According to Quistorf, the only option was a hoist rescue. A volunteer was lowered down from the helicopter to the ground where Stevens Pass Ski Patrol members treated the skier and put him on a backboard.
“We raised him up, got him inside, warmed him up and got him over to the hospital,” said Quistorf.
The victim was conscious and able to speak to rescuers. He was taken to Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett where emergency room doctors gave him a cat scan and treated him for his injuries.
“He’s luck that he had some buddies with him. He wasn’t alone. That’s critical they were able to call (for help),” said Quistorf.
But luck was on their side too.
“PLB (Personal Locator Beacons) or spot locators will help somebody get aid to them quicker than a cell phone. Cell phones are pretty unreliable in the mountains,” he said.
The Snohomish County Search and Rescue Team also saved snowshoers on Granite Mountain in January. But with its busiest season’s summer and fall, rescuers say their work is just beginning.