Pro skier Nick McNutt was buried 47″ deep in a small avalanche and injured near Pemberton, BC on March 9th, 2020.
His account and video of the accident are great learning tools.
We are very glad he’s OK.
“Beautiful or deadly?
On Monday, March 9th I was involved in a serious accident near Pemberton. I’m writing this from the hospital in Vancouver (day 4) where I’m hoping I can leave soon. After a couple of great runs, I eyed up this nice-looking pillow rib line and to my misfortune, up high on the run, I broke a pillow off that sent hard chunks barreling down the gulley I was planning on exiting. As I finished the line, the chunks redirected me through trees and smashed me onto the lake, burying me 120cm down. For minutes I lied under the snow, holding on to faith that my friends who were close by would come to my aid. They prevailed through my beacon being smashed into the “off” position (no signal) and with a lucky probe strike, dug me out quickly.
Quickly realizing that I wasn’t ok, they called for Pemberton SAR and stabilized me, keeping me warm for 2 hours while we waited for rescue. My arm was the main concern, both bones in my forearm were shattered and displaced, as well as very unstable. I was coughing up blood and had chest pain. Hearing the helicopter come was an unexplainable wave of relief.
I escaped with multiple forearm breaks (repaired by surgery) and a bruised heart, and some minor bleeding inside my lungs. I can’t thank the @tetongravity crew enough who was there that day,
I owe you my life. I also owe a huge debt of gratitude to the Pemberton Search and Rescue for the swift ride to the hospital, thinking about making my way out under my own power and adding many painful hours to my ordeal makes me feel ill. And a huge thank you to the wonderful @kelirwin for taking such great care of me these last few days, bringing my spirit up and making sure I was well fed and comfortable. Thanks to all who reached out and expressed concern.
I’ll be back! In my opinion, a bit of a freak accident and I don’t think any poor decisions were made that day. A broken arm is a speed bump and I’m excited to heal up and ski again later this spring.”
- Nick McNutt on March 9th, 2020