Dec 17, 2010 at 12:38 am #1266663
eric chanBPL Member
not unknown to become seperated from you pack in winter … it could come off if you fall in a river, in an avalanche, slide down the slope when you set it down, etc ….
in winter could be deadly … hmmmmmm
A Revelstoke man plucked from freezing water after being trapped under the ice at the bottom of Johnston's Canyon says he was lucky to survive.
"It was pure dammn luck," said Eric Vezeau, 42.
The Revelstoke backcountry ski guide ventured out alone onto the creek below Johnston Canyon, exploring the ice climbing routes Monday.
He was equipped with crampons and a helmet, but as he stepped off the shore and onto the frozen creek, the ice gave way and sent him into the icy flowing water. As he tugged to remove his 25 lb backpack, it slipped and floated away, along with his ice axe.
That's when the force of the current grabbed Vezeau, who slipped under the ice.
"The water was flowing water and it was so freezing. I couldn't get a grab onto anything," said Vezeua, who only had a few inches of air between the freezing water and the ice above him.
"I was fighting not to get taken by the current and thought what's next?
I went into survival mode. Am I going to see my girlfriend, my parents?"
Vezeau floated a few metres and popped up inside a small cave, where he could stand. His yells for help alerted his rescuers.
"I could feel my legs stiffening. I was thrashing and banging, I could see a hole outside, and 10 seconds later there are people talking to me."
Vezeau says his rescuers got to him just in time.
"I was getting so tired. At a certain temperature your body just stops working."
Vezeau, a ski guide with Yamnuska Mountain Adventures who teaches avalanche courses, credits his past experince with icy water for helping him keep his cool.
In all the panic, Vezeau says he never got to properly thank his rescuers.
But thanks to a few mutual friends on Facebook, he's hoping to contact them in the next day or two.
"I'll probably talk to them and just thank them."
He says his brush with death won't deter him from the ice.
"Will I got back to the ice? I might stick to snow a little bit more, I don't know much about ice. Next time, I'll go back there with a dry suit."
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