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Accident Vail OOB yesterday

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Yesterday afternoon I skied the legal Vail OOB beyond Blue Sky Basin with wife, daughter, her husband, and two friends who'd never been there before.  We'd just passed the top cliffs, and I was skiing down first when I heard a CRAAAACK! and male yell behind me, about 150 feet higher. My son-in-law had just boarded around a big tree to find a smaller tree behind blocking his way.  His knee slammed into the tree, and he went down and was not getting up.  Our position was not conducive to rescue, and fortunately, after 10 minutes or so he was able to stand with help.  We sent two down to tell the ski patrol we'd meet them at the edge of Champagne Glade, while we slowly worked our way over, my son-in-law supporting himself with ski poles and shuffling from tree to tree and sliding down the steep sections on his butt.  The ski patrol arrived and gave him a ride down in the sled, and we spent the rest of the afternoon at Vail hospital, where it was determined that he'd torn his MCL and ACL. We were all very fortunate that we were not too far OOB and that he was sufficiently mobile to self-rescue. It could have been much worse.
post #2 of 19
 Too bad from the injury standpoint, but I guess it could have been a lot worse from a rescue standpoint. Hopefully he will heal quickly!
post #3 of 19
Too bad this happened at a time of such enjoyment with family and friends.

If I read the post correctly...The 2 of you made it back to the boundry line and that is where patrol "took over." Man, that's gotta hurt.!! 

In other words...Patrol is very strict in only patrolling in-bounds...and that's that.?? Which brings me to the question....If your son-in-law could not limp along, who would be called for a rescue.??

No dis on Patrol here, I'm thinking I could learn something here. I've got the sled treatment before and the beer jug received a generous donation....I just folded 'em up and contributed. 
Patrol rocks.

Close call, glad it has bitter sweet ending. 
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
The Patrol maintains a rescue cache on the ridge above the legal Vail OOB sidecountry. We told them we would self-rescue and meet them just inbounds, so they did exactly what we asked.  A rescue from the true OOB terrain would be a big deal.
post #5 of 19
Good ending to what could have been a bad afternoon.  If I get sledded out, can I get a patroller that looks like that? :)
post #6 of 19
In Summit County, there is Summit County Rescue (http://www.scrg.org/) that is very busy. Lots of hiking rescues, people lost above tree line, etc. In the winter, they coordinate with law enforcement agencies and mountain ski patrols to deal with accidents and missing persons.

Patrol would go out of bounds, as far as I know and recollect from articles in the paper. They might also coordinate with SCR as they have the gear and training to get to places that patrol doesn't.

Nice job of self-evac. Here's to a speedy recovery.
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 

County rescue operations can be a bit dicey in Colorado. SCRG is supposed to be pretty good.  However, several years ago I was first onscene at an ice climbing accident in Clear Creek Canyon (the guy plummeted to my feet; I was lucky I wasn't crushed), where CCCRG alternates months covered with Clear Creek Fire Rescue.  Unfortunately for this guy, it was CCFR's month. After I got them there, they spent an hour (no kidding) milling around the parking lot distributing and donning climbing helmets and harnesses for the 1/4 mile horizontal trail.  Once they finally got there, they wouldn't allow the EMTs to administer pain meds for the guy's broken pelvis and femur, since they had to "observe him" (did I mention that the guy hadn't lost consciousness, and my wife, who was attending to him, and I are both docs?). Then, they decided that the 5-degree slope necessitated a "high-angle rescue", and they spent another 30 minutes trying to figure out how to rig their ascenders and set anchors (ignoring the two huge fixed I-bolts at the base of the climb). Then, once they got him back to the flats, they spent another two hours rigging a horizontal ropeway along the horizontal trail and getting the poor guy to the amublance.  What a circus!  So, the moral of that story is that you fall and get hurt near the Clear Creek/Summit County line, try to roll towards Summit County and call SCRG.

post #8 of 19
Sorry to hear about the mishap.  I'm glad that you were able to get him out of there okay.  Hope that he's quick to mend.  It's good to know that self rescue may not be the only alternative out there.  Nonetheless I'll do my darndest not to get into a similar predicament the next time I'm skiing in that area!
post #9 of 19
Sorry to hear of you son-in-law's accident. I hope he has a speedy recovery. I have a detached ACL from a playground accident.... and 48 years later I'm still skiing.

It sounds like your son-in-law was going too fast when he hit the 2nd tree. I never go out of bounds, and if I'm in new terrain, I take it very easy. I can always make a faster run later once i know the way. I was making a very tame traverse at Shirley Lake area of Sqyaw when I hit a rock, which was covered with snow. I was going slow, and did minimal damage to my skis. The point is, unknown terrain can be hazardous, more so when speed is involved.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery for your son in law.
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugaree View Post

Too bad this happened at a time of such enjoyment with family and friends.

If I read the post correctly...The 2 of you made it back to the boundry line and that is where patrol "took over." Man, that's gotta hurt.!! 

In other words...Patrol is very strict in only patrolling in-bounds...and that's that.?? Which brings me to the question....If your son-in-law could not limp along, who would be called for a rescue.??

No dis on Patrol here, I'm thinking I could learn something here. I've got the sled treatment before and the beer jug received a generous donation....I just folded 'em up and contributed. 
Patrol rocks.

Close call, glad it has bitter sweet ending. 

Ditto that!  Wow, that's tough!
But this is a TR, so it has to be said........


Hope your SIL heals well.
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

But this is a TR, so it has to be said........


 

Possibly you missed the pic, above? 

With respect to skiing OOB, we all make our choices consistent with our comfort levels and experience. I have skied that area literally hundreds of times. My son-in-law had skied it five or six times. He will have considerable time to contemplate speed control as he heals after surgery (he sees an orthopedist today).
post #12 of 19
Great pic. Sorry it happened. Ended season, but a good story. I too, have learned the hard way; "never start a turn unless you can see where it ends" especially in trees. I thought I'd broken my hip, but when the Snowbird nurse looked at my butt, she pronounced it one hellofa bruise.
post #13 of 19
 ooof, thanks for pointing the pic out.  
Hope he heals well!
post #14 of 19
I was there a few weeks ago when there hadn't been snow in 2 weeks and the only pow was in the OOB at blue sky, I skid that area alone 2 days in a row (always connecting back to champagne glade) and on the 3rd somehow ended up a little too far left and going over the back side of the ridge, the pow was deep and fantastic and prevented me from using my brain and realizing I was WAY OOB. At the bottom was a snowmobile track, that I mistook for a cat track that connected to the bottom of the lift - no, it was snaking around the next mountain over, and was so narrow in a gully lined with rocks that even trying to wedge as hard as possible I kept picking up speed.

After a few miles I hit a creek going almost 40 mph and bailed boots first which absorbed most of the impact from the rocks I slid into, had to put the skis back on and continue on that track. Was forced to bail another 2-3 times during this narrow track before I finally hit a flat spot. No GPS and no signal on my phone, was cross country skiing for maybe 1 mile till I found an abandoned power plant, kept hiking not sure if I was going to or away from civilization. By the time snowmobilers rescued me hours later I discovered I was in White National Forest 17 miles from Vail Village... finally got a ride out of the Redcliff town hours later.

In short, if I had become severely injured on that snowmobile track, I would perhaps been there for days and possibly died. Not helpful was the thought in the back of my mind about the snowboarder they found there just the day before, he died in an avalanche and had been laying there buried for over 10 days before anyone found him.

Never skiing OOB without a partner again.

I took a vid, don't make fun of me for skiing very slowly, I was filming with my cell phone in my right hand and poles in the left, terrain was flat, trees were dense and I wasn't sure where I was going.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=leNXFTf7L_g


As to the actual topic on hand - I hope he undergoes a speedy recovery. ACL injuries hurt!
post #15 of 19
very scary area to be skiing alone. I have a buddy die in an avalanche at blue sky around a month go while he was snowboarding alone. he had no cell phone, no gps, and they didn't find him for a week. Definitely a good idea to always ski with a buddy out of bounds. I hope more people realise that before it's too late.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sosumi View Post

I was there a few weeks ago when there hadn't been snow in 2 weeks and the only pow was in the OOB at blue sky, I skid that area alone 2 days in a row (always connecting back to champagne glade) and on the 3rd somehow ended up a little too far left and going over the back side of the ridge, the pow was deep and fantastic and prevented me from using my brain and realizing I was WAY OOB. At the bottom was a snowmobile track, that I mistook for a cat track that connected to the bottom of the lift - no, it was snaking around the next mountain over, and was so narrow in a gully lined with rocks that even trying to wedge as hard as possible I kept picking up speed.

After a few miles I hit a creek going almost 40 mph and bailed boots first which absorbed most of the impact from the rocks I slid into, had to put the skis back on and continue on that track. Was forced to bail another 2-3 times during this narrow track before I finally hit a flat spot. No GPS and no signal on my phone, was cross country skiing for maybe 1 mile till I found an abandoned power plant, kept hiking not sure if I was going to or away from civilization. By the time snowmobilers rescued me hours later I discovered I was in White National Forest 17 miles from Vail Village... finally got a ride out of the Redcliff town hours later.

In short, if I had become severely injured on that snowmobile track, I would perhaps been there for days and possibly died. Not helpful was the thought in the back of my mind about the snowboarder they found there just the day before, he died in an avalanche and had been laying there buried for over 10 days before anyone found him.

Never skiing OOB without a partner again.

I took a vid, don't make fun of me for skiing very slowly, I was filming with my cell phone in my right hand and poles in the left, terrain was flat, trees were dense and I wasn't sure where I was going.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=leNXFTf7L_g


As to the actual topic on hand - I hope he undergoes a speedy recovery. ACL injuries hurt!

 
post #16 of 19
yeah I think we're talking about the same person.

They said it took them so long to realize he was missing because he hiked the mountain to avoid paying for a season pass.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ilyem013 View Post

very scary area to be skiing alone. I have a buddy die in an avalanche at blue sky around a month go while he was snowboarding alone. he had no cell phone, no gps, and they didn't find him for a week. Definitely a good idea to always ski with a buddy out of bounds. I hope more people realise that before it's too late.
 


 
post #17 of 19
yeah that was my friend Jasper. May he rest in peace. His brother works at Vail, I hope he's doing well.
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
That is terrible. Very, very sorry to hear about it.  Never, ever, ski OOB or BC alone.
post #19 of 19
exactly. I think in this sport, along with others, when people get to a certain skill level they feel like nothing can hurt them or that they can weasle themselves out any sticky mess they get into. They get cocky, I know I've been there, and definitely hurt myself in the process. Some people,unfortunatly, just don't bounce back from those mistakes.
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