Ottawa's Festival of Ideas Since 1997

Danger Beyond the Limits

          Danny loves to ski. And his hometown, Vernon B.C. is less than ten minutes away from the local ski hill, Silver Star. Thirteen-year-old Danny is on the local ski race team. This means that every weekend in the winter he practices skiing. His best friends Jamie and Ron are on his team.


          He and his friends are amazing skiers. For them a black diamond is nothing. They have been on every ski run at Silver Star at least three times. His parents are also really good skiers.


          One night after school, his mom told him that they were going on a surprise trip to Revel- stoke for Danny’s birthday which was tomorrow.


          “Are you kidding me!” yelled Danny.

          “No,” replied his mom.
          “Omg! Thank you so much, Mom!”


          The next day after saying goodbye to his friends Danny and his parents went on a road trip to Revelstoke for the day. Once they got there, they put their bags down and started to ski.


          They skied on a few easy runs to get used to the hill and then he and his parents made their way to harder runs. Danny’s favorite run so far was the terrain park where he did a 360-degree spin.

          After doing multiple runs they went in for lunch. Danny and his parents each bought pou- tine.


          After gobbling down his lunch, Danny said to his parents “this is the best day ever!!!”

          “I know!” said his Dad.

          Shortly after that, Danny and his parents continued skiing. They started skiing harder runs around the mountain. Danny wanted to ski on the North Bowl which was a very challenging area. They took a gondola up and then a chairlift to the top of the North Bowl.


          When Danny looked down the bowl all he saw was fog. The bowl was crazy steep. Even looking down it was scary. And besides all of that, it was cold because Danny and his family were near the top of the mountain. They decided not to think about it too much and start skiing.


          They went on a run called Greely Bowl. When they were roughly halfway done the run, Danny was having a good time. He entered the woods to have some fun doing tricks.


          Danny did a sharp turn left to follow the run although he was still in the woods. He was try- ing to get back on the run but he couldn’t get there. Danny tried one more time and he hit something in the ground which made him lose balance. That made him fall down a slope deeper into the woods.


          He tumbled down the hill yelling, “aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!”


          Suddenly, he jerked to a stop. Danny was a little confused and his finger was hurting very badly. He managed to stand up but then he fell back down again.


          “Help!!!” Danny yelled but nobody heard him.


          After a ton of tries, he finally stood up. He found his skis in the snow and put them back on. Danny started skiing the direction he thought was the way he came but he got even more lost.


          He found an open area and yelled, “Mom! Dad!” but it was no use. They were nowhere near him.


          It was getting dark and Danny was starting to feel numb from the cold. He was too cold to stand up so he curled up in a ball on the snowy ground. He took his skis off so that he wouldn’t slip farther down.


          “So this is how it’s going to end,” Danny thought.


          His mouth felt like it was frozen shut so he couldn’t talk. His skis slid down the hill and he couldn’t do anything about it. The thoughts that came into his head were all bad thoughts. He tried to calm himself by closing his eyes and listening to the sounds of nature.


          Suddenly Danny heard a whirring sound in the sky and opened his eyes. In the air, he saw a dark red helicopter flying right above him! With all of his effort, he pulled himself up using a branch.


          “Help, over here!” yelled Danny, but the helicopter passed right by him.


          He wondered why the helicopter was in this area, then it came to him. He accidentally skied in the heli-skiing spot. That meant the helicopter would probably come back this way.


          By the time the helicopter came back, Danny was ready. He wrote ‘HELP’ in the ground with sticks and when the helicopter was above him he threw pinecones at it so they would see them.


          Danny was doing all of that while screaming, “Help!!!”



          After a lot of throws of pinecones and a lot of screaming, the helicopter’s pilots finally noticed him and landed near him. Danny was so relieved but he couldn’t walk easily. He hobbled towards the helicopter as fast as he could.


          A man in the helicopter said to him, “What are you doing out here in this weather?”
          “I got separated from my parents on a ski run, I tried to find my way back and I ended up here,” replied Danny.
          “We will get you back the main lodge as soon as possible,” said another man in the helicop- ter.


          They handed him a blanket and he took it slowly. When they reached the main lodge, he got out of the helicopter and thanked them. When Danny entered the lodge he saw his parents at the front desk talking to the receptionist. He walked up to them and tapped their shoulders. When they saw him they were very happy. They hugged him hard for a long time and then let go.


          “What happened?” asked his mom.


          He explained everything that had happened. Shortly after that, Danny and his family left to go back to Vernon. When they got home, Danny went to the local doctor. The doctor told him that he had a sprained finger and a minor concussion from the fall.


          Despite all that had happened, Danny was back skiing in a few weeks.