Letter to the editor: Thanks for the rescue | SierraSun.com

Letter to the editor: Thanks for the rescue

John Bell
Squaw Valley

I would like to extend a sincere thank you to all involved in my rescue from a spring melt hole/canyon at Squaw Valley on Saturday, March 28. The area where this happened was on a run called Smoothies near the bottom of Silverado lift.

I was enjoying the spring corn and as I came over a rise, the only thing beneath me was a waterfall. My momentum carried my across the gap of the waterfall into the opposite side of the hole. I crashed into a vertical wall of snow breaking my ankle and separating my pelvis.

I then fell down about 10 feet into the creek. My ski partner didn’t see any of this happen and skied down to the lift. I was pretty stunned in the water. It took me about 20 minutes to get up on a rock on the down streamside of the hole. I was there for about 10 more minutes before I saw the person in the light teal jacket.

At this point I yelled for help and you have no idea how glad I was to see you (I wish I knew your name for proper thanks).

Soon after, there was quite a crowd of many members of the Squaw D Team and their coaches as well as several people from the Ski School.

Some people moved to stand guard around the hole so no one else would suffer my fate. The others made a human ladder to pull me up out of the creek. Then the Ski Patrol arrived and I was on my way to the Clinic.

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– I would like to thank the following people. If I missed your name, I’m sorry and I still am very grateful for your help.

– To the entire Squaw Ski Team and coaches present.

– To the members of the Ski School for there help.

– To Dave Precit, Chad Haney, and all that made the human ladder.

– To Bob Kalpin for the use of your fleece shirt (my core temperature at the clinic was 94 degrees).

– To Chris Gray and all the Ski Patrol for the high degree of professional care they provided in getting me off the hill ASAP.

– To all the people at the Clinic, again the Ski Patrol and the Staff who provided the warm-up blankets.

I’ve been skiing at Squaw since 1982, a long time for some and a short time for others. This is my 40th ski season and accidents will happen. I thank you all again for the help.

I feel fortunate I am here and will enjoy skiing Smoothies next season.