The internationally renowned Norwegian pros might be making headlines on the competition circuit right now – but over in Whistler, their 20 year old compatriot Julie Abrahamsen has just come through a completely different battle…
The young snowboarder survived for three days by herself, lost in the Whistler backcountry, and came out the other end with a remarkably chill attitude
Found alive and pretty much unscathed – reports are coming through the news channels of a young snowboarder who survived for three days by herself, lost in the Whistler backcountry, and came out the other end with a remarkably chill attitude towards the whole thing.
In a one-on-one interview with CTV Vancouver she describes how she was out snowboarding when the trail came to an unexpected end – and shortly she found herself unable to get back to familiar ground. Going on to survive by sleeping under big rocks for shelter – until she was later rescued.
On the surface – it’s an incredible tale. Successfully tackling unfamiliar terrain in the middle of a Whistler winter (even a mild one) is a rare feat; and to continue to do it solo, and on a ration of a half-eaten pasta lunch is even more so. But it shouldn’t be overlooked that in the majority of circumstances – simple precautions can be employed to avoid situations like this, which required a 60-strong rescue team to rectify, and caused significant grief (albeit temporary) for Julie’s family.
Without going into too much depth on her intention, and riding within her own ability (as those seem unclear) – the fact that it took anyone two days to notice Julie’s absence rings immediate alarm bells. Whether they’re close friends or not, communication and planning can save time, and therefore lives, in mountain area rescues, as anyone who’s taken an avalanche safety course will know.
At the end of the day it’s the usual moral to the tale – you can never be too well informed, know where you’re riding and whenever possible have a plan (even a loose one). Stay safe out there!