The snowboarder meets the skier who saved his life again, and enters the downhill slope
A snowboarder with a near-death experience recently met the skier who fell on him at the right time and saved his life. In terrifying conditions, the two new friends hit the same slopes where they met a month ago to enjoy skiing and snowboarding together.
Skier Francis Zuber saved snowboarder Ian Steger’s life on Mt. Baker last month
While snowboarding with some friends on Mt. Baker, Washington, in early March, Steger got into serious trouble when he fell backwards into a log well and was buried by snow. Before his friends, there was no one who witnessed the accident to help dig him out of the snow.
“When we entered the trees they were so narrow that we each found our own ways and paths. The one I chose happened to have a big tree well, a hole that I fell into,” Steger told the ABC affiliate. KOMO-TV. “I would die on my mount in an area I’ve ridden hundreds of times.”
Fortunately, Zuber was in the right place at the right time as he skied down the mountain. As he headed down the hill, he noticed something out of the corner of his eye that ended up being part of Steger’s snowboard. Zuber sprang into action to assess the situation and began digging Steger out of the snow.
Zuber captured most of the rescue on his GoPro and shared it with him Instagram. The video has since gone viral. The footage shows him exposing an arm, then a hand, then Steger’s face as he asks him if he’s okay and talks to him about the rescue.
After hearing from Steger that he was breathing and fine, Zuber took a moment to catch his breath and took a shovel from his backpack to begin digging. This is where the recording ends.
Zuber said Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that Steger had only minutes to spare when he arrived on the scene. “We think (he was buried) somewhere between five and seven minutes; it was probably a third or even half of its possible survival time in there,” Zuber said.
On social media, the caption of the video begins: “The tree wells are real. If you’re skiing or snowboarding, take a moment to listen. This happened a few weeks ago @themtbakerskiarea. I started to write something about this experience, but I’ll save that for another time and let the video speak for itself.”
He went on to explain that it is essential to “Do an Avy one course and get training on what to do if you find yourself in this situation.”
In the comments section of the Instagram video, Zuber added, “Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who shared this with your ski friends and your kind words. One detail I wanted to add that is not entirely clear in the video is that the buried snowboarder was with another group. All very experienced riders with proper avy gear and walkie. They followed a path through the trees and planned to meet on the other side, which we all did countless times. It was pure chance that I met him.”
GoPro vowed to call Zubert a “hero” and offer him new gear. “Taking ‘Be a Hero’ Seriously. We are glad that you were with us to capture this, + we are even more glad that you were in the right place at the right time. Please check your DMs; we want to bring you together with some gear + a GoPro prize. 🙌”
One of Steger’s friends also made a touching comment about the hero. “Thank you for saving my dear friend. When he told me about it, I felt claustrophobic and stressed when I heard it. I wasn’t sure I wanted to watch it, but I did and I almost cried. Thank you very much; words cannot express how grateful I am that you noticed and saved his life. I owe you a million beers. ❤️❤️❤️”
The two new friends recently reunited and hit the slopes together
After the incident, Zuber and Steger became friends and recently reunited on the same mountain where they met less than a month ago. Steger shared a photo of the two Instagram and thanked everyone for their kindness and love.
“Thank you to everyone for the love and support over the past few days! It means the world to me. If I didn’t come back, it’s not intentional; Trying to get through all the texts of love and support. I couldn’t have felt more loved and cared for,” her caption began.
He concluded by saying he was “grateful to be back on the mountain and spend a day with my new brother.” He also thanked her for saving his life.
Zuber said: “I’m excited for many, many more days 🙏❤️”
Many commented on how unique the story was and how grateful everyone was for the happy ending.