Telemark Skier Rescues Dynafitter From Tsaina River

Valdez Snow News (VSN)

February 21, 2016


Three Valdez men took off on their skis on Sunday to the north  of Thompson Pass looking for a nice tour in the trees when suddenly one of the skiers dropped into a hole and into the water while crossing a snow bridge over the Tsaina River. He became stuck and somewhat troubled on his Dynafit bindings mounted on DPS’s skis. As the two telemarkers stood nearby and pondered the situation (laughing) it was decided one would venture out and help as it had became quickly obvious that self-rescue was not going to happen any time soon.


The oldest guy in the party quickly went into action and skied over next to him. Looking down in the hole he saw a wet boot submerged in a slushy mix of river water, snow, and misery. The telemark skier then told the guy to remove his pack to give himself some wiggle room and shed weight, so he took it off and handed it up to the bald(ing!) guy. In the meantime he had managed to unclip from one of his skis and still stuck. It was also noted the hole was swallowing him up like south Texas quicksand.

Quickly he grabbed his hand and after a couple yanks, pulled him out of the hole to safety with one ski still on. Meanwhile his other ski was being sucked under the snow and down river. The rescuer grabbed once and mishandled the ski and dropped it. And then in a yoga-enhanced stretch, he grabbed the rocker tip and rescued the ski within a second of disappearing into oblivion.


Fortunately the other telemark skier was nearby with his iPhone to record the dramatic events of the day. Both acknowledged how lucky he was to have telemark skiers along. “They need to recall that sh@# show” one said about referencing the binding and boot. Another observation was something about an airbag being an alternative lifejacket for skiers around water. The AT skier had nothing to say except it was all in fun and he used to telemark. All three skiers wanted to share their experience but not their names, but they added they live “around” Valdez.

Eventually the ice encrusted skis, boots and bindings were cleaned along with a wet sock removed and squeezed of water. The three continued along and eventually crossed the river on a safe snow bridge and spent the day wandering around on skins. They eventually made it back across the mighty Tsaina and the welcome warmth of a Subaru.


by Matt Kinney (VSN)

Photos by this guy..