Last week a skier was buried in an avalanche at Crystal. I wrote about the event in an earlier post, and the media has covered the incident thoroughly. However, an important piece of the event has not been covered, and I wanted to take the time to give credit where it is due.
When Emily Anderson was caught in a small slide on the I-5 return trail out of Northway, she was following a group of five or so other skiers breaking trail. When another skier came in hot on their tails, he cut above the group and started the avalanche that swept Emily into a tree well and buried her. The area was not an avalanche path, but it is steep enough to slide. It occurred at the beginning of I-5 just past the entrance to Stump Patch, in a wide spot on the horizontal trail.
The skiers in front of Emily and those behind her saw her get buried. They watched her and immediately started a beacon search. Many witnesses describe the beacon search as unsuccessful due to the fact that so many people were there–everyone that skied Northway was exiting out this trail–and the new arrivals were still beeping. During the beacon search that did not prove successful (Emily was not wearing a transceiver) the group started probing. Ski patrol had already been called. When ski patroller, Peter Dale, arrived, Emily had been located by a probe strike and together the group dug dig her out.
Emily survived because of the group of skiers that found her before ski patrol arrived. Steve Broback was one of those skiers, and he caught the rescue on film. See the video below. For anyone with questions about where the accident happened or how she was found, check it out. Emily is found around 11:20 on the video.
Other skiers also helped search for Emily. I’ve heard a few names, but I’m sure the core group has not been acknowledged. The video demonstrates the seriousness and diligence of those involved in the rescue. I would like to extend a personal high-five to all those that searched for Emily. Can anyone tell me who was involved? I would really like to make sure everyone that helped out in this rescue gets the credit they deserve. Please comment below if you were involved and can offer more details.
Again, thanks to the Crystal skiers who immediately began this search and saved the life of a very lucky young woman. Bravo you guys. Bravo.
Paul Baugher also extended his gratitude on the Crystal Website today. Link to it here.