Home News A snowboarder was rescued by a stranger from a tree at Mount Baker

A snowboarder was rescued by a stranger from a tree at Mount Baker

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The snowboarder was buried deep in the snow for more than five minutes.

A snowboarder is lucky to be alive after a stranger skis and rescues him from a hole in a tree in backcountry Mount Baker, Washington.

Francis Zuber, 28, of Bellingham, was enjoying an afternoon sledding with friends when he saw a snowboard emerging from the snow. Zuber, who was wearing a GoPro at the time, sprinted into action and released the throttle slider. The rescue was filmed.

“I had no idea how long he’d been there,” he said in an interview with Glacier Media. “I knew I had to join them right away.”

In the video, you can hear Zuber yelling, “Are you okay?”

Ian Steiger, who was stuck in a tree hole, managed to move his skateboard a little. Zuber, who has been skiing for 24 years, had all the equipment needed for an amazing rescue.

Part of the process to get there[à lui]It was really the most terrifying ordeal of all,” he says, noting that it was a struggle.

Zuber used his sled to get closer, but the snow kept pushing him down.

“I dug in the snow and knew it was going to be a lot of effort,” Zuber said. I was really scared because I couldn’t get there in time. »

With the clock ticking, he cleared the snow in front of him instead of climbing on it and grabbed his snowboard to get up. Zuber dug deeper and deeper, trying to reach the trapped man.

He can be heard saying in the video: “Uh, come on.”

Steger tried to remain calm. He had a small air pocket.

He heard his friends on the radio trying to talk to him but found they couldn’t locate him.

Once a big chunk of snow fell on Zoper’s top and he was saying, “Are you all right? Do you hear me?”

After digging for more than a minute, he finally found Steiger’s face.

“Once I got to him, I felt a bit of a relief because he was still moving. I knew he was going to be fine, and I could get him out,” recalls Zuber, who estimates that Steiger was stuck head first for five to seven minutes.

“Maybe it felt like a lifetime.”

Once Zuber gets to Steger, he tells him they’re both going to catch a breath. Then I take out a shovel to remove the rest of the snow.

“I relaxed a lot around him,” Zuber says, “and made him grab my arm and pull on it. And the first thing I did was just a big hug for him.”

Save men for life

After the rescue, the couple decides to meet on Saturday to ski and snowboard together.

“There are no words to express my gratitude to you,” Steiger, who also lives in the Pacific Northwest, said in a social media post. “Thank you for saving my life.”

For Zuber, it was a moment he would never forget.

“This was my first rescue, and hopefully my last, so I won’t have to do it again,” he said. “Saving someone’s life is something that happened to you, and being that amazing person is a really cool thing.”

Zuber took an avalanche certification course and spends a lot of time researching how to stay safe outdoors.

“Always keep your skills up and practice whenever you can with your buddies, especially if it’s a very dangerous day and you’re just training to save a lighthouse,” he says.

He hopes this video will highlight the need for proper training and equipment.

“Ian, the snowboarder, is a snowboarder and he was doing all the right things and he was with a group and it just keeps going,” Zuber says.

BC AdventureSmart The cast watched the drama video.

“It was intense. It was full of excitement,” said Sandra Riches, CEO of the organization. “Every winter there is a story about the tree well incident. Unfortunately, there are deaths because of this.”

The video shows the dangerous situations that can arise while skiing, snowboarding, or even snowshoeing in the mountains of British Columbia.

“It’s our responsibility to pay extra attention when we’re playing in those areas and really watch our friends in and out,” she says.

Riches hopes that everyone in BC will submit a travel plan and that people know where to go before they go. It also helps to use the buddy system and get the whistle on the zip close to the face.

“Pay attention to each other and know that these tree pits are at the base of each tree,” she says.

Riches adds that the search and rescue response can take time, so protecting each other in distant countries can save lives.

Zuber is grateful to the members of Search and Rescue who have performed similar rescues of him.

“They do these things all the time, almost every day, helping people out of situations like that,” he says. “They deserve a lot of recognition and more than they get.”

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