Schlasman’s lift opened in December 2008 on a challenging 300 acres and 1,700 feet of steep terrain at Bridger Bowl, a ski resort in Bozeman, Montana. The slope’s gnarly ridge attracts daredevils and keeps patrols really busy – rope rescues are a regular occurrence.
This inexperienced snowboarder with kiddy size snowboard decided to descend the ridge with GoPro mounted on his head. Once he came upon a rocky slope, he realized this was beyond his novice skills and dismounted to walk around it. As soon as the snowboard was off his feet, the fellow slipped and tumbled down 500 feet of steep, rocky mountain side.
The tumble rendered him unconscious and knocked the camera off his head, which stayed on throughout the rescue. A ski patrol picked it up and put it in his pocket but even though the view was obstructed, the patrol’s conversation with the victim can be heard.
The snowboarder broke a C3 (Cervical 3) vertebrae on his neck, narrowly missing the nerve connected to the diaphragm that could have stopped his breathing. Because he was not wearing a safety helmet, the fall also lacerated his head with a 6 inch gash that exposed his brain, but miraculously, brain itself sustained no damage so there will be no long term consequences.
The video is raw straight out of his GoPro. Skip to 4:30 for 30 seconds of action because from 4:59 until 11:25 the lens is obstructed by snow. Then the camera gets put in the patrol’s pocket so from that point on it’s just red stuff. Unless you feel like listening to the conversation between the victim and rescuers.
One thing to keep in mind is that the camera was set to record in super wide angle mode and that doesn’t do the canyon he was facing justice. The slope was much steeper than it appears to be from the video. He broke too many snowboarding rules and should be lucky he’s not dead or paralyzed.