Video of a Life or Death Tree Well Rescue at Mt. Baker
Video of a Life or Death, Tree Well Rescue at Mt. Baker
lan Steger (left) and Francis Zuber (right) became fast friends after Zuber rescued the lifelong snowboarder from a tree well, last March (2023) in the backcountry of Mount Baker Ski Area.
When Ian initially stopped next to a pine tree in the deep snow - he fell backwards, with his head pointed down into the tree well.
He initially tried to right himself, but with the surrounding snow crushing tighter against him. He realized he couldn't get out.
Ian's buddy had called out on their radio that he didn't know where he was.
It was at that moment, that Ian accepted the fact that he going to die. He thought of his fiancée Jordan Richardson.
Fate was about to intervene.
It was a random sighting of Ian's snowboard poking out and wiggling out of a tree well in very deep snow.
Backcountry skier Francis Zuber had to immediately think fast to save Ian's life.
Francis Zuber had just begun a backcountry ski run with a buddy on Mount Baker when he slowed after skiing through some trees.
Ian's red snowboard caught the corner of Francis' eye.
Zuber's GoPro footage shows him stopping and turning to see a colorful snowboard upside-down next to a dangerous tree well.
'I knew there was somebody attached to it, and they were still alive. I shout out to the guy…he can’t hear me, he’s five and a half to six feet into the snow at that point.' - Vancouver's City News.
Francis Zuber knew he had to work fast. Tree well victims only have 15 minutes of life before suffocation.
Zuber said that he believes Steger may have only had a few moments left before he arrived.
Since the dramatic rescue, Zuber and Steger have become friends and even returned to Mt. Baker to ski together.
Here is the complete video of Francis Zuber saving the life of Ian Steger.
(Warning - this video is NSFW - it does contain strong language. Please be advised.)
People may think the main danger of skiing through trees is the risk of running into one. Falling into a tree well is a less obvious - but still potentially deadly risk due to the possibility of snow immersion suffocation.
KOMO TV 4 did a story on this life-saving event. Click here for the video.
Remember, tree wells will kill you - stay safe this Winter.
INFO: GoPro, KOMO TV 4, City News (Vancouver)
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