Hey beautiful people -
My friend broke his back last weekend taking a huge jump in the park and it was fucking terrifying
Initially, it didn't look like a bad fall and he was going to move out of the way, when he screamed in pain, we immediately told him not to move. I had mountain emergency # saved in my phone and called immediately. Others who saw from the lift also yelled they would send help. He was under the jump and we did not want to move him, so lucky for us, some riders jammed down there and stood at the top of the jump to wave off people and stop them from dropping in. He was taken to Mammoth emergency, then airlifted to Reno. He broke his back in 2 places and it has been a terrifying week of waiting for his vitals to be stable enough for surgery, and to find out if he was going to walk again. Surgery was successful, though he is in quite a bit of pain, he will walk again
. He's got 6 weeks of rehab ahead of him, and he'll be walking just in time for his June wedding.
I know that we all do this knowing that danger is imminent, and just how precarious our situation is with the mountains alive all around us, but it's so different to have it actually upon you. I just wanted to share this with everyone, and I'm sure you all have this down already, but if you don't, please get a basic understanding of immediate first aid, what to do, what not to do. If he had moved just a bit..I just don't want to think about what could have happened. I'm grateful to all the park riders who came to our rescue, and ever grateful to ski patrol and mammoth mountain hospital for taking such great care of my friend. Get your first aid, or at least a basic understanding of first aid, and make sure you have all mountain emergency numbers with you and you are as prepared as you can be.
I am still shaken up and sad, and somehow feel partially responsible, even though I know I'm not. It's the worst feeling in the world to have your riding partner go down right in front of you. This just reminds me that anything can happen in the blink of an eye, any run and any moment can really be the last.
Peace and love,