As temperatures drop and winter approaches, many of us will venture out into the snow again for some icy adventures. But there are some dangers to be aware of. Creeping frostbite is the most common one when you are out in cold climates. This is something JM Athlete Rasto Krejčí, who is a P&P Control Manager at JM, experienced firsthand. We have asked him to tell us more about what happened and what we can learn from him.
Rasto: “Some years ago, we went to the Mount Blanc massif. A sunny and windless day turned into freezing wind gusts and temperatures of -19°C / -2°F – all in less than an hour. And there was no way to escape. When a member of our group quickly lost body temperature, we had to react immediately. So, we dug a shelter for the five of us into the snow using our avalanche shovels and put our skis as a roof on top of it. Then we all shared food, water and rescue blankets and prepared ourselves to stay in there for a longer time. Those who were in the worst condition were given food and hydration. Our half-frozen friend was wrapped in a rescue blanket and after an hour he resumed his normal skin color. The rest of us were more or less okay. At least that's what we thought. Eventually we were rescued by the French mountain rescue service.
The next morning, I could not put my shoes on. My toes were twice as big as usual, and only then did I see what the cold had done to me. The good thing was: We were all well-equipped, had shovels, rescue blankets and enough to drink with us. The bad thing was: We probably should have paid more attention to the weather situation in the area and should have discussed our plans more thoroughly with the local mountain rescue team. Fortunately, there was a happy ending because we were helped quickly and because we were all well-equipped and prepared for the worst. I have learned a lot from this.”
Words of advice
Here are some advices from Rasto:
- Always have a phone with enough battery with you, so that help can be called quickly.
- Save the phone number of the mountain rescue service or any rescue number in your favorites to be able to call them in a stressful situation immediately.
- Prepare yourself for bad scenarios.
- Pay attention to the weather and avalanche forecast.
Rasto, thanks for sharing your experiences and learnings with us. These tips can truly save lives!
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