WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. — An incredible rescue caught on camera.
“You alright? You okay?” asked Francis Zuber.
On March 3rd, Zuber was backcountry skiing on Mount Baker when he noticed a snowboard sticking out of the snow.
“After going through that second corridor of trees there I caught kind of this little flash of red out of the corner of my eye,” said Zuber.
Zuber stopped and realized someone was buried under several inches of snow.
He immediately jumps into action and begins to dig. A moment of relief as Ian Steger responds.
“Happy to be alive for sure, very grateful and trying to make the most out of this second chance on life… We kind of pieced it together. After watching the video and how long I felt I was down there before Francis arrived we think it was about 5 to 7 minutes,” said Steger.
Steger says he was with three other friends on that run, and when he fell into a tree well he immediately realized he was in trouble.
“At that point, I started to freak out and basically decided that if I’m going to survive I have to do this myself, and so I was trying to wiggle myself free. Do anything to free myself but it was a total lost cause,” said Steger.
Thankfully Zuber showed up, and he was well-equipped.
“Falling upside into a tree well is actually the most common way that someone is going to fall into a tree well. It’s almost impossible for the person to rescue themselves,” said Brad Hefta-Gaub, Training Director for King County’s Ski Patrol Rescue Team.
Hefta-Gaub says the team is tipping their hats off to Zuber, for handling the situation very well, and credits him with saving Steger’s life.
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