British Skier Ditches His Ski Boots And Climbs A Tree To Escape A Pack Of Wolves In The Backcountry

Chris Wallner | BackcountryBackcountry | Industry NewsIndustry News
Wolf Pack! PC: Wallpaper Cave

According to Daily Mail, a 30-year-old British skier crashed while skiing off-piste in Bulgaria and ended up encountering a pack of wolves. The man’s name was Janveer Sandhu, he ditched his heavy ski boots in order to move faster and found safety up in a tree. The only thing left to keep his feet warm was his socks, which did little for him in the freezing temperatures that he experienced. While in the tree, Janveer ate snow to stay hydrated and tried to stay warm in anyway he could. He spent a restless and cold night in the tree before being rescued by a motorist the next day. Sadly, he still faces losing a toe to frostbite due to the frigid night he spent in the tree.

“It was the best thing ever when I saw the car. I just thought I’m going to live,” said Mr Sandhu, a project manager.

Janveer Sandhu! PC: Daily Mail

The drama experienced by Janveer is eerily similar to Oscar-winning film The Revenant, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a 19th-century frontiersman who battles through the snow-swept US wilderness after being mauled by a bear. Janveer’s own fight for survival began during a five-day break with a friend in Bansko, Bulgaria, in early February. On the second evening, the experienced skier ventured down a black run on his own. However he became confused by the signs and ended up going off-piste into steep, dense woodland, where he crashed into a tree at high rate of speed.

“I wasn’t knocked out but I was in shock. Blood was coming from my nose,” stated Mr. Sandhu.

Then, Janveer saw three wolves just a few hundred feet away that were heading in his direction.

“I’d started going downhill after the crash but when I saw the wolves I had to go back up. I climbed for about 45 minutes – but it was difficult. I was waist-deep in snow. I was still in my boots so got rid of them. I didn’t think about my feet. I just wanted to save my life. I realized every step (away from civilization) was death, so I climbed a tree where I spent the night. I ate snow because I was thirsty,” he said.

Janveer’s feet! PC: Daily Mail

After the fact, Janveer was informed that Wolves don’t like to climb up the steep slopes in powdery snow, but he was unaware of this at the time of the incident. Throughout the night that he spent in a tree, Janveer saw the rescue teams’ search lights, but says they were too far away to shout. His cellphone also had no signal, which left him in a tough spot. He wasn’t ready to climb down from the tree until sunrise and when he did, he trekked through the deep snow for hours before he found a road where he was picked up by a Romanian family. Janveer was then taken to a hospital in Sofia, where doctors battled to save his legs. He flew home on February 13, but was admitted to Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford for an additional three days. He is scheduled to return next week, when the tip of his right big toe and the entire next toe may be amputated.

“It did remind me of a lot of the moments I had,” stated Janveer when talking about The Revenant compared to his experience.

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