I wanted to give you some feedback from a victims perspective about the Pro Rescue Sled.
Before I get into details, let me say thank you for an awesome product. On Saturday, March 3rd, I was out backcountry skiing with a group from The Mountaineers in Seattle. We were skiing only a few miles from where the avalanche accident had happened on February 19th. We had chosen to tour our alternate plan as the avy danger was to high for us to feel good about our planned tour. The are we had chosen was the former ski area of Yodelin. We stuck to the trees for the day. The snow was really heavy and consolidating as the freezing level was predicted to be at 5500′ and we were in the 3600′ to 5000′ range. At about 2pm I cut in the heavy snow to make a stop and fell. As I feel I heard a pop. Not knowing if this was my binding on my ski or something else I laid there until somebody could get me out of my other ski which was twisting my knee.
After assessing the situation and trying to ski again I knew it was not possible as my knee kept popping out of position. At this point we decided to do a self rescue. We had the Pro Rescue Sled with us and proceeded to assemble it with my skis. Thankfully I do not have fat skis as we could still use the tie bars. I have 168cm K2 Backlashes. Though it was a bit cumbersome at times and we needed to reassemble the sled once, it worked great to evacuate me. The total team involved in the rescue was nine thanks to enlisting three other skiers that came by while we were setting up the sled.
It did take some learning to figure out what was the most efficient way to guide me down the hill and what just wasn’t working. One of the keys was to lift the downhill ski up when side hilling. We did this by putting a rope around the downhill ski, laying it over my body and having a rescuer pull on it as we moved. This kept me from tending to roll.
As feedback, maybe a couple of reinforced loops could be added on the sides/bottom so that you could easily girth hitch a rope in and pull on the rolled up patient to stabalize as you go across the side hills. I am also not sure how the tip/tail bars will work with the newer fatter skis. It must be a huge challenge to keep up with the ski technology changes. Our total descent was 900′ and just under 1.25 miles. Again THANK YOU and do not hesitate to send me any questions you may have about my experience with the product.