As a person who hikes solo, (I know, not the greatest idea,) this gentleman's experience is my worst nightmare. Please, when you head to the backcountry:

  1. Have a partner
  2. Have the proper gear
  3. Have enough water
  4. Have a way to make fire
  5. Do the next right thing

The Official Gallatin Media Center Press Release


Today at approximately 1:20 pm, Sheriff’s Search and Rescue was dispatched to the History Rock area in Hyalite Canyon. A backcountry skier had been skiing alone and impaled himself on a tree. The impalement occurred in the groin and was bulging near the belly button.

The skier began walking out when he located another group of skiers. The group assisted him in building a fire and sent a portion of their party to lead Rescuers to the scene. Search and Rescue including specially trained medics located the injured party and with the use of a back country rescue helicopter and technical rescue specialists transported him to the waiting Summit medical helicopter. He was then flown to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital.

The patient remains at Bozeman Deaconess and is receiving appropriate medical attention. Assisting agencies include Rae Sourdough Fire Dept and AMR ambulance.

Sheriff Brian Gootkin reminds everyone that skiing in the backcountry can be dangerous. Please ski with a partner, notify people of your location and bring the appropriate equipment. In this case, Search and Rescue was notified quickly and the weather conditions cooperated for a safe and effective extraction of the patient.