Seattle skier falls 160 feet into Canadian crevasse, rescued unscathed

Nicolai Popov was back country skiing when he feel into a deep crevasses near Whistler, B.C. He survived the fall with no injuries.

Nikolai Popov was back country skiing, alone, this past Friday on Decker Mountain, about five miles from Whistler, British Columbia.

He knew the risks, and knew enough to watch for crevasses.

"I saw that there was a little crack and started probing with a pole to see where the crevasse is," Popov told CTV News. "Just as I was doing that, the whole thing collapsed under me and I found myself in a very nasty hole, it was quite deep."

In fact, it was about 50 meters (164 feet) deep.

Popov wasn't hurt in the fall. But he sat there in the deep crevasse waiting for two hours before rescuers arrived. It might have been longer if another skier hadn't noticed that Popov was suddenly no longer behind him.

Neither Popov nor the other skier had a cell phone. The good Samaritan skied to where he could alert a search and rescue team. A helicopter brought in a rescue team and Popov was pulled out of the crevasse.

Popov's incident is a cautionary tale: Don't ski alone and bring a rope in this kind of terrain, under these conditions.

"I wouldn't recommend touring alone," said Daren Romano with Whistler Search and Rescue. "Be prepared for self-rescue if you're going with a party. Take some ropes with you."

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