REDDING, Calif. - A Redding snowboarder on Mount Shasta became trapped in a tree well on Wednesday for more than an hour, until being rescued by Ski Patrol. A camera attached to the man?s helmet caught the entire ordeal on video.
James Drummond had been snowboarding with a few friends Wednesday morning, before slipping and become trapped upside down, buried in a tree well.
Tree wells are the area of soft snow around the base of a tree formed by low hanging branches that keep more snow from falling in and forming a solid layer.
Drummond, who has been snowboarding for 22 years says he knew the potential danger of falling into a tree well, but never thought it would happen to him.
?At first, I thought it was just a stumble,? said Drummond. ?I went and put my hands out in front of me and when my hands touched the snow, it was like there was a false bottom.?
In February, another snowboarder ? 22-year old Alexander Gautreaux ? was found dead on Mount Shasta, having suffocated in a tree well.
Drummond says he feared he might meet a similar fate.
?I was thinking about my wife and my kids,? Drummond said. ?I was thinking about the young man that died up there earlier. I was sure this was where I was going.?
Drummond says he went into a ?full-on panic.? He can be heard desperately crying for help in the video.
As Drummond struggled to make an airway, he says he was able to reach his cell phone. Just then, he says his wife miraculously called him as he was trying to call her.
Leanne Drummond ? James? wife ? then called the Ski Patrol, who then called the trapped snowboarder to help keep him calm.
Rescue crews were able to locate him about half an hour later.
?I was just so relaxed at that point,? said Drummond. ?They pulled me out and I imagine I gave some hugs? I was surprised to be there.?
Despite nearly losing his life, Drummond says he doesn?t plan to give up the sport he loves.
?But I?ll be much more careful in the future. I almost let a lot of people down,? said Drummond.
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