Days and nights in the middle of nowhere
by Kyt Lyn Walken
British Columbia: a vast and sparsely populated territory (just over 4 million inhabitants), overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
A natural environment so wonderful that it takes your breath away, but capable of transforming itself in an instant even in the worst of nightmares.
January 2017. Stephane Boisvert, a physical education teacher, goes to Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, about seven kilometers west of Golden in the south of the state.
He is a snowboard enthusiast, and the recent snowfalls are an unmissable opportunity to relax and enjoy an almost enchanted scenery.
Time passes in a whirlwind of descents and peace, until the 35-year-old realizes he’s lost. Far from panicking, Boisvert pauses, reflects, carefully checks the area that unfolds around him.
Finally he catches a glimpse of a stream flowing downstream, and decides to follow it. Common sense tells him that by doing so he will be able to reach an inhabited center, as often happens. But not in that case. The course of the water, which Boisvert faithfully follows, leads him to an even more remote area. Around him there is only silence, and very tall conifers.
Periodically Boisvert yells for help, or traces the word HELP in the snow. Yet nothing. Night falls, and a hole in the snow, covered by him with pine branches, is the best he can organize so as not to aggravate the hypothermia and frostbite he is already suffering from.
Some videos he records with his cellphone will be the memory of those minutes, and hours, and then hellish days.
Panic is the term that occurs most often.
A search team finally manages to spot him and rescue him.
The right leg must be amputated, and the left foot is also severely affected by frostbite.
But as Boisvert himself later declared to the newspapers, the most difficult battles for him were not the cold, the hunger, or the isolation, but the mental ones.
His immediate departure from where he was lost was fatal, and seriously made the work of the Search and Rescue teams even more difficult.
However, Boisvert knows that that experience, so merciless in the marks it left on his body and mind, was not without meaning.
Once again, having knowledge and control of oneself and one’s mind leads us to the correct analysis of our status and the risks we can run. And Bivo, in its search for constant support to all your activities, carries on this mentality with conviction and respect.
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