I was caught in an avalanche in 2005, and am a very lucky man to be here today!
On December 28, 2005, my friends and I were skiing at Kicking Horse Resort. We all had several years of backcountry skiing experience and training and chose to venture outside of the area boundary after lunch to evaluate the snowpack.
Three of us dropped below the ridgeline and performed a standard column isolation and compression test. The snowpack was extremely volatile and we elected to go back into the resort. As I was climbing back to the top of the ridge, the entire slope failed.
It was the scariest moment of my life! Time slowed down and I looked to my left, where my friend was also being pulled down. I thought. "I'm going to die right now, I can't believe this is it for me, I can't do this to my family" Then I was gone.
I was swept over a cliff and heard a big pop. Something was broken. Buried in the snow, I felt myself get pushed out and swept over another small cliff. I landed on my back and was so relieved to be conscious. I knew at that point that I had a chance.
So, I tried to stand but was hit with more snow and landed on my stomach. I started swimming, quite literally, for my life. As the slide started to slow down, I kept swimming and when it stopped, I was immediately frozen in the snow! Thankfully my head and my right hand were above the snow. I was so relieved to be alive!!
Luckily my friend who was a ski patrol was not fully swept down with me and he was able to radio to the resort and get them to call a helicopter. In the meantime, my friends roped up and tried to get down to me but they triggered another small slide.
Eventually, the helicopter was able to land and the ski patrol stabilized me. I had shattered my femur and perforated my femoral artery; I needed surgery.
Each and every day I am grateful to all of the people who helped save my life. Needless to say, not a lot stresses me out anymore. I'm so thankful for this wonderful life and love being able to meet new people and help them with their home needs.
I still ski and love taking my son out as often as we can!