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September 1999, Week 3

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Subject:
From:
"Salts, Peter" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Vermont Skiing Discussion and Snow Reports <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Mon, 20 Sep 1999 10:08:47 -0400
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I was flipping through the channels last night while I was feeding my son
and came upon a show on TLC regarding emergency outdoor rescues.  I don't
know what it was called but they detailed rescues from avalanches in France
and Colorado, a freak storm in Colorado in October 1997, climbers from Mount
Everset and the infamous frozen rain storm of a year and a half ago in New
England and Eastern Canada.

The show's footage was eye opening. I have a new found respect for
avalanches. These huge trees literally snapped like match sticks after a
wall of snow tumbled down a 1500 ft. slope.  At a Colorado ski area (they
didn't name it) the ski patrol triggered an avalance that went all over the
place and was out of control.  As soon as it stopped and everyone was going
in to check it out, another avalanche came through.  Luckily no one was
hurt.  In France, rescuers were digging out skiers and climbers that had
fallen in the avalanche and was buried.  All too frequently they pulled out
dead bodies.  Quite chilling I might add - I actualy felt a chill several
times.

Footage of Mt. Everst showed all the O2 containers littered everywhere and a
few dead bodies.  One climber had fallen in the snow and was encrusted in
ice.  A crew found him alive but left him there as they thought he would die
anyway.  A few days later that same crew saw him come out of a hospital with
severe frostbite all over his face and hands.  They were all black - he was
lucky to have use of his hands.  It cost him in the neighborhood of $60,000
(don't know if that was for the rescue or the climb). They showed a pair of
feet that had severe frostbite and described how it had gotten that way - as
the feet froze the blood vessels expand and rupture.  Soon afterward, the
toes expand to doubled their size and blood poured in and froze, turning to
black.  Eventually gang green set in and they need to amputate in order to
save the person's life.

As many of you experienced, they showed the huge power lines in Quebec
toppling over like they were made of silly putty after they had two inches
of frozen rain all around each piece of exposed metal. It was Canada's worst
natural disaster.

This was a great program to watch.  If anyone knows what it was called
please let the list know as I would assume it would be rebroadcast sometime
in the future and others might find it interesting.

Nature is one strong mama - you gotta respect her.

PS

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