British Skier Shares Warning to Others After Dramatic Rescue of Son Buried in Snow

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7 個月前

A British skier has recounted his dramatic rescue of his son, who was buried in deep snow near Chamonix, in a warning to other skiers to take care when straying off piste.

Gillon Campbell was skiing with his family at Le Tour, in the French Alps, in “beautiful” conditions last December. They decided to go along a gully between two pistes in the fresh powdery snow. Back on the piste, however, there was no sign of Campbell’s eldest son, 11-year-old Fox, an experienced skier himself.

Campbell says he figured Fox was ahead with his wife, but when he got to her, he wasn’t there. So, he went back up a ski-lift to retrace his route. Back in the gully, he says, he saw “the snow was different”. He turned on his transceiver, and it showed him someone was in the snow, really close by.

“I just dug like everything in the world mattered to me,” Campbell says in video released by La Chamoniarde, a local rescue agency. He uncovered his son’s head about one-and-a-half meters under the snow.

“That was a really, really scary moment,” Campbell recalls. “I’ve never been so scared … I won’t forget the moment I got to hold him. He was so cold, but he was alive.”

Campbell says he wanted to share his story because the dangerous situation happened so easily. “We were not far from the piste,” he says.

La Chamoniarde said the incident showed skiers need to “beware of a false sense of security when skiing close to the piste.”

“Skiing off-piste carries many risks including avalanches, icy or hard snow, rocky outcrops, cliffs and hole, none of which are signposted,” La Chamoniarde said. “To ski off-piste, you need to know more than just how to ski! You must be aware of the dangers, that way you know how to avoid them,” they said. Credit: La Chamoniarde via Storyful

  • W
    With All Due Respect
    1st time I ever skied the Rockies, back in 1972, I was at Snowmass. The lodge we were staying at was having a slope side wine and cheese party late one afternoon. While at the party I needed to relieve myself so I stepped off the slope into some trees. Sunk up to my chest and had to get dug out. Fortunately there were a lot of people around.
  • N
    Things happen so fast in skiing. You can fine one minute and in deep yogurt the next. Always ski with a buddy, especially in the back country.
  • S
    SAM C
    Thank you for sharing... I'm an ex ski instructor ... a very good skier... as for little ones.. it doesn't take much for them fall into deep snow and can't get up. 1.5 meters is deep ... very very deep for a child/ 10 year old. This was a happy outcome.. but I cannot imagine how your young child got out alive... especially the time that past by while you went up the lift again... that's like 15 to 20 minutes in my mind. Suffocation starts in about 3 minutes. The luck was on your family's side... there must have been loose snow around his head/nose/mouth area to give him some breathing time. The camera shot from your child's head showed "daylight" not far away... which gave him some breathing time. Very very fortunate...!
  • D
    ".....He turned on his transceiver....." Thank the good Lord he and his son had such a thing...otherwise the poor little lad could have been lost forever....just a few feet away from where his helpless father was losing his mind.... Which leads me to wonder if wearing a transceiver (homing device?) is compulsory when skiing there/anywhere....?
  • I
    Pieps, probes, and shovels are for finding bodies. Cant express how happy I am he found his son. He was very very lucky.
  • S
    SAM C
    There are skiers that get too close to trees where snow drifts can reach pretty high and not knowing it .. you fall in and they didn't survive! Always be close to them...
  • R
    That's one lucky kid !!!! That's why skiing back country needs the proper gear !!
  • M
    Metal Monkey
    Skiing is something that I tried and wanted to do more of. Too bad it's so expensive, even for rentals. For a beginner, it was over 60 just for me. That wasn't including my son or wife
  • D
    Good thing he had the transceiver on him.
  • p
    At best poorly informed parents and skiers; at worst, reckless endangerment of their son.
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