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Crevasse Rescue - I am ready to tell the story
© Kat4kgb, Aug 2012
Camera used: PENTAX Optio WG-2 GPS
5*VOTING: number of votes 79
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Long story, but will cut it short....
In the summer of 2012 me and Paul went mountaineering in the Vallee Blanche, Chamonix, France. It was an amazing day.
Just a few days ago we had been talking about crevasses and crevasse rescue. we had kind of got all the details and agreed we had plenty of info to deal with one if necessary.
Two very happy mountaineers! At one point lots of massive dark holes were around us. Oh dear, god knows I didn't like to be around crevasses at this moment and time. We crossed one, second, third and fourth one but the fifth one didn't look as dangerous as others. I didn't liked the idea of crossing that one so i went a bit to the side,. I kind of walked around it. oooohhh all good. I was about 20 meters away from Paul when I shouted to him not to cross over, as it didn't feel right -(.
My heart started to beat like crazy, for some reason I knew what was going to happen next..... I have braced myself down on to the snow, dug my feet and ice axe in to the ice. Within seconds Paul started to fall down the crevasse. I started to be pulled in as well. Despite all my effort I have ended up following him into it. I woke up, I must have been unconscious for a few seconds. I had a massive pain in my right arm. I was to scared to look at it in case it was broken. So I have pulled my sleeves down and I started to freak out.
I was screaming, shouting... luckily the rope had got stuck on the top of the slab of snow that hung over the edge of the crevasse. I was dangling in the air and Paul was deeper down, resting on a bit of ice ledge. A few times the rope cut into the snow and I was lowered down. This was scary. It was very important to get an ice screw into the ice wall near me as soon as possible to secure ourselves from falling down even further.
Ice screw in!!!! I have attached myself and Paul to it. I started slowly to climb up. I mean very slowly. As we had only walking/mountaineering equipment (not ice climbing equipment) it was difficult to climb up. Each time I tried to climb the wall my axe just wouldn't cut in and take a grip. Some time later I had made a small amount of progress two more hours and we would have been out....maybe!
But then, I could hear peoples voices. It was french mountaineers walking back to the cable car, after their climb. They lowered their rope down, then shouted "don't be afraid the helicopter rescue is coming". What??? Noooooo!!!! Whyyyyyyyy???? I was thinking inside my head, we were nearly out, no need for the helicopter. But a few moments later we had been rescued from the crevasse by the French Mountain Rescue Team. I was very cold and looked blue and may be even close to hypothermia I got the first ride on the helicopter directly in to the hospital, after an examination, lot's of pills and liquid, I was out and about getting ready for another adventure. Tomorrow Mt Blanc.
Kat4kgb - 08/Feb/13
A fantastic photo to show for your ordeal!
wee jamie - 09/Feb/13
Well done and thanks for sharing your tale with us,just out of interest,where were you in the Valle Blanche?
deepstar - 09/Feb/13
Yes well done for the tale and also for having the presence of mind to take the photo. Now every time some plonker posts something like: 'Pah, no need to be roped up there, there aren't any crevasses...' please, please post this photo and your comments up.
jon - 09/Feb/13
some shot under the circumstances!
mac fae stirling - 09/Feb/13
Great picture. Most people don't realize just how hard glacier ice is. A lot of walking axes just cannot easily be driven deep enough to get a good placement. Glad you got out OK.
goatee - 09/Feb/13
epic!
Stanners - 10/Feb/13
Ok, I feel guilty a bit, after reading my story. As it looks like I am the only hero in this tale! Just to clarify when I was unconscious I must have lost my ice axe, plus I didnít have any ice screws! Paul have found my axe in the crevasse. He uncoiled his rope and passed me my axe and one of his ice screws up to me.... Ice screw in!!!! I have attached myself and Paul to it......thanks Paul you helped us get out.
deepstar- we were just under the grand capucin.
Kat4kgb - 10/Feb/13
Amazing shot, pretty unique!
Misha - 11/Feb/13
great story with that photo.
LennyJ1 - 11/Feb/13
Thank you all so much for all your votes and comments! It really means a lot to me, thank you!!! :-D
Kat4kgb - 11/Feb/13
By the way you can read and see more photos of this story on http://highpeakmania.blogspot.co.uk/
Kat4kgb - 11/Feb/13
Thumbs up, Kat ! :-)
btw. we have Katarina P. and KGB in our club too http://prevyk.php5.sk/?id=2
Peter Kalensky - 12/Feb/13
My first reaction on seeing the photo was that it was crevasse rescue training, but congrats on getting that pic. You will remember that epic for long to come.
p.s. You profile pic is another cracking image.
Sean Kelly - 12/Feb/13
phenomenal presence of mind.
pneame - 20/Feb/13
Whoa! Scary - and your expression says it all! Top pic!
awallace - 25/Feb/13
Top facial expression... love it
Euge - 01/Mar/13
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This picture is copyright. If you want to reproduce or otherwise re-use it, please email the photographer direct via their user profile. Photo added February 09 2013.