Canadian Mountaineer Recalls Life-threatening Slip in Snow

We experienced ice in locations while we were attempting to get on the snow, so we stayed on the rock. One buddy, having had bad experiences with others she had actually witnessed sliding frantically on snow, stated she was not going near the snow.
One friend and I came to a point where the rock rib we were on ended, and we would have to go up and around to stay on the rock. I looked at the snow and– thinking it would have warmed enough during the day that it would make it so much simpler to go down snow than the loose ball bearing and slab we had actually sustained on the way up– I gingerly took a step onto the snow. At that really moment, my feet went out from under me, and I started sliding on the snow.

My buddies assisted the mountain rescue personnel to keep rocks from falling into the bag they were establishing. They were trying to construct a sort of platform on the steep slope to provide it some stability..
They put a heart monitor on my finger and then started attempting to move me into the bag. They said they would have to lay me down. One rescuer suggested I lay on my side with my pack under my head. The transition to laying me on the side while they held my head achieved success.
When on my side, I was finished up, cables were tied around me, one rescuer connected himself to the rope, and the helicopter took us off the mountain.
I was positioned right next to the ambulance. They lifted me into the ambulance and stated they had Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service (STARS) on standby. In the end, since I was stable, I was driven for the next 1.5 hours to Foothills Hospital in Calgary. I arrived at about 6 p.m.
I was provided an MRI in short order, and the medical professional came next to my gurney and said, “No marvel your neck felt like jelly. You broke it.” My injuries were a damaged neck at C2, a crack at L2, lacerations and a broken finger.
I was released from the medical facility 2 days after the accident, on my birthday. I remained in the halo for 11 weeks and then moved to a neck brace.
Three months later on, I lastly started going through the next steps in the mental recovery process. I went to the Kananaskis Rescue Centre and offered a thank you card for the dispatch, paramedics, RCMP, preservation officers and mountain rescue group. I described in the card what took place to me and that without their quick action and having access to a helicopter, I most definitely would not have actually endured..
The rescue team got to me in just over an hour, and I really dont believe I would have stayed mindful for a lot longer, provided I was beginning to go into shock. If I had actually been unconscious, who understands how they would have moved me and what the outcome would have been, as I understand that a C2 spine injury can affect your breathing. In general, I feel very fortunate to be alive.
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January 8, 2021
On Aug. 5, 2020, Vi Pickering fell and sustained dangerous injuries while coming down Mt. Rae in Kananaskis, Alberta. Listed below, she tells her story.
I had a few day of rests in August 2020 and had gotten in touch with a good friend to go out to do some peaks during the week. My friend suggested we increase Mt. Rae. Although she had done the peak lots of years prior, she suggested we do this peak because I had not done it. She also welcomed 2 other friends of ours. The four of us had been regular rushing partners about 4 years back, so I mored than happy to be reunited for a type of homecoming.
The four people are experienced scramblers and peak baggers– some hardcore older girls who like a little bit of mountain adventure. We had all researched the Mt. Rae route and check out that there was still snow at the call, however there was exposed rock, so we might work our method up the mountain and walk around the snow..
That day, we started up the easy Ptarmigan Cirque on the way to the peak by about 9 a.m. It was easy hiking, and we were taking pleasure in overtaking each other.
We headed up to the snowy call and found the rock part slippery– with pebbled rock on piece (like ball bearings) and loose scree– however we lastly made it. There were 2 choices to the peak from there: one was to follow the ridge up a chimney climb into low grade 5 with both hands or follow a scree hiking course to the right that would bring us easily to the peak.
When we came to the chimney, it looked much and overwhelming more difficult than a low 5. I saw a rock at the top that looked like the picture in the instructions, so we all still felt comfy with the path. We made it and then had to search around the ridge to make sure we werent cliffed out.
Luckily, there was a path through the rock band to the peak. We made our method very cautiously. There was great deals of loose scree and some exposure with sheer drop-offs.
I called my partner from the leading to say we made it and that we were having lunch. I had strategies to get back home to load up the next day and head out to the Columbia icefields for a birthday scramble with another friend.
We took a more direct route down, selecting our way down the ridge and after that the scree. We took it slow over some pieces and ball bearings, at times even doing some interesting down climbing up.
We made it to the call, and as soon as down the final slope, we joined the easy Ptarmigan Trail. At that point, I felt we were home totally free which we had done all the hard, scary parts. I even thought that maybe I might take my helmet off, however I understood we still had snow and scree ahead and I should keep it on.
We began to choose our way down. We came across ice in locations while we were attempting to get on the snow, so we remained on the rock. One friend, having had bad experiences with others she had actually seen moving uncontrollably on snow, stated she was not going near the snow.
One buddy and I concerned a point where the rock rib we were on ended, and we would have to go up and around to remain on the rock. I looked at the snow and– believing it would have warmed enough throughout the day that it would make it a lot simpler to decrease snow than the loose ball bearing and piece we had actually sustained en route up– I gingerly took a step onto the snow. It appeared a bit icy, however I believed if I just took a couple more actions I would get on the excellent snow. I took another step and rapidly recognized it was far too icy.
At that very moment, my feet went out from under me, and I began moving on the snow. I had my ice axe in my hand and attempted to self-arrest however could not slow myself down. I simply kept sliding. I knew I required to get my complete body weight on the ice axe, however an old shoulder injury caused weakness in my arm and with that, weaker strength in forcing the ice axe into the snow..
When my ice axe hit a rock and flew out of my hands, I was just concluding that I had to put my entire body into the arrest. With absolutely nothing to stop me, I started tumbling on rock and doing somersaults, one after another.
Ultimately, I came to a stop in a sitting position halfway down the 45-degree slope. One pal later on asked what made me stop since the slope kept going, and– truly– I do not understand.
I could feel my arms and legs, and absolutely nothing appeared damaged, however I was badly cut and battered. I took my helmet off and slipped my knapsack off to get my inReach ® satellite communicator gadget. I pressed the inReach SOS button..
I believed for a moment that perhaps I should not push the button and I ought to just get up and go out, but I was bleeding from my legs, arms, hands, face and head so believed I really was not able to get up. I did a really small stretch to stay up, and as I did that, I felt an acute pain in my neck and a sense that if I moved my head simply slightly back, my neck seemed like jelly.
One pal came down to me, and I gave her my phone so she could use the Earthmate ® app to rapidly react to the emergency messages. I told her to likewise message my other half and my son because they were currently noted as contacts on the Earthmate app. She did so..
The fall occurred at about 2:40 p.m. The helicopter came and circled us about an hour later on. The helicopter returned with a longline, 2 rescuers and a bag. They were dropped near me, and they began with masks for all and then opened the bag they were going to place me in. They positioned a neck brace around my neck.

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