LOCAL ‘It’s a miracle’: Trapped skier rescued by strangers on Vail Mountain

Last Update: January 27, 2019 at 9:01 pm

SOURCE: Channel 9 News

DATE: January 27, 2019


‘It’s a miracle’: Trapped skier rescued by strangers on Vail Mountain

Michael Laush said he was buried in snow as deep as he is tall, and almost didn’t survive.


VAIL, Colorado — He came to Colorado to celebrate his 40th birthday. But Michael Laush almost didn’t survive the trip.

“It’s a miracle I’m going to be here to celebrate my 40th birthday,” said Laush, who lives in Ohio. “That’s all there is to it.”

Last weekend, Laush and his friend were enjoying a day of skiing at Vail Ski Resort. Laush remembers the lift ride to the top of a trail, but nothing more.

“I put my poles in the ground and pushed off to start going, and that’s all I remember,” he said.

Laush’s friend and strangers have filled in the rest of the details for him. He said they told Laush he took a hard fall, then got up and skied a short distance before crashing again. This time, he landed upside down in a large hole, where snow buried the skier – who is 6 feet and 6 inches tall.

Laush said his friend described it this way:

“He said the only thing I saw was your boots sticking out of the ground.”

Luckily, there were other skiers nearby.

“Michael was face down and backwards in the snow, all the way,” said local skier Karen Nern. “Straight up and down in a snow well would be the best way to describe it.”


Nern and her husband, Tom, were nearby when another skier started shouting for help. The couple, of Vail Dermatology, joined a growing group of people who helped dig Laush out of the snow. Luckily for him, several of the helpers were doctors and knew CPR.

Laush later learned how lucky he was.

“Michael, when we pulled you out, you were dark purple, and we all just thought, there was no way,” Laush recalled Nern saying.

“After three cycles of chest compression, he started breathing and his heart came roaring back in his chest,” Nern said. “It was an intense pounding of his heart. It was a remarkable experience.”

“Just the fact that they tried to do CPR is amazing,” Laush said, growing emotional. “Because they pretty much thought it was a lost cause.”

Laush is back home in Ohio recovering, and grateful to the strangers on the mountain who he now counts as friends. And he’s looking forward to celebrating that birthday, after all.




FULL STORY:  https://www.9news.com/article/news/local/its-a-miracle-trapped-skier-rescued-by-strangers-on-vail-mountain/73-68c11283-fbcb-4a88-a671-be633cd32669