Thursday, February 14, 2008
Tragedy in BC
I just received this email from a dear friend of ours out in Golden, BC. Pretty incredible story and my heart really goes out to Alison. I have decided that Alison has earned the nickname, IRON WOMAN. She has survived and been in on at least two Avalanches that I know of (might be more) and now was in on a Heli crash rescue. My heart goes out to those that were injured and to the pilot that lost his life, but even more so I thank the stars that it was not worse.
I just wanted to let you know that the company I was guiding for last week, Purcell Heliskiing, had their 212 (the big one) crash while we were out skiing. My group and I had just been dropped at the top of a run, the heli had picked up the next group. He was flying up to the top of the run but some problem happened about 250m short of the landing. We are not yet sure what caused the whole thing.
Our pilot was killed and the other guide badly injured, although he should be OK in the long run. All the clients in the back were totally unscathed, which was a small miracle. It appears to all of us who dealt with the rescue, that the pilot took the brunt of the crash and augered his side into the hill (hillside was covered with about 2m snow fortunately) and this prevented the machine from rolling.
The other guide was Derek Holtved, whom I don't think any of you know. I had just got to know Andy, the pilot, this week so I doubt you would know him either. He was a wonderful man and a super experienced mountain flyer, I had been enjoying working with him greatly.
Anyway, bad weather had delayed sorting out the wreck, etc.... so we have all been very slow in attempting to get word out to folks. I just wanted you guys to hear the details from me, so that any wild speculations that may have been going on in the media are not taken as the facts.
I miss you all and hope you are well.