Mountain biker’s crash, rescue lead to new awareness 

Mountain biker’s crash, rescue lead to new awareness

The events of Saturday, Nov. 2 read like a surreal collection of mishap and magic. The last thing Carl Brodeur remembers clearly is tightening the chin strap on his full face helmet in preparation for the descent of Dirt Merchant. Now, almost two weeks later, I gratefully sit across from him at the dinner table while he barely eats mashed vegetables and drinks through a straw. Carl’s horoscope from the Pique for the week of Nov. 1 seems to tell the story well.

"Are you up for a treasure hunt in the underworld? Aries, I’m urging you to scare up some riches in the souls natural habitat, known as eternity, the collective unconscious…the fourth dimension…"

Sounds pretty grim eh. Well thanks to the intervention of many unsolicited souls Carl is here to reap the benefits of this dimension also.

When his front forks suddenly broke off his bike the crash was catastrophic. The impact came suddenly and Carl likely had no idea what kind of a journey he was about to undertake. His riding partner Vanessa was equally unaware of what her day had in store for her.

"I was waiting at the bottom of the trail for him for a few minutes when I had a bad feeling something had happened," she recalls.

Hoping for nothing more than a flat she ran back up the trail calling his name. The scene she came upon would require all of her First Aid training and a cool head.

"Carl was still tangled in his bike and was not moving or responding. There was a lot of blood on his face and most of his lips seemed to be missing," she says.

Vanessa dealt with the priorities of life first, ensuring that his airway was clear (a good call from the reports of teeth strewn across the trail). It was clear to her after spending approximately 10 minutes trying to stabilize him that she would need expert help evacuating him from the mountain. A painful decision was taken to leave him in the drainage position and seek help.

A quick ride to the base of Whistler mountain was the pace setter for her quest to round up the cavalry.

"I knew 911 was the first step but they were not the only people I needed," she says.

She needed people with intimate knowledge of the mountain and its trails. It was getting dark and only a focused search would get Carl the help he needed in time.

The Longhorn Saloon was her first stop for the telephone call to 911. She must have seemed like a crazy woman covered in blood screaming directions to the bartender on the phone.

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