October is all about Halloween, where our thoughts turn to hauntings and other supernatural events. Did I ever tell you this ghost story?
Feather: I haven’t told many people about this story. It’s pretty bizarre. Mostly, because it is a true story and not many people believe in ghosts saving lives. There are stories of ghosts saving the lives of climbers on Mount Everest.
Here is my story how a ghost saved my life on Mileage Mountain in British Columbia, Canada.
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Throughout her youth, Feather found ecstasy in sunshine, the fresh air, and the unlimited expanse of the outdoors. To become an accomplished snowmobile rider of the snow covered mountains was a natural progression for her. Years of snowmobiling over the highest mountain peaks and diving into twenty-foot drifts earned her the nickname “Wildchild.”
She rode the peaks in Wyoming, Idaho, Montana and British Columbia. The development of her fearless heart became timely for another rider. On February 18, 1984, on Mileage Mountain (near Valemont, British Columbia) a snowmobiler fell two hundred feet from a cliff, landing on a ledge high above Feather and her friends.
Combining her knowledge as a paramedic and tenacity to face danger, she began to organize the rescue. At first, none were willing to climb up the side of the mountain. They were certain the enormous icy cornice high above them would break away from the peak and crush them. Feather proceeded alone. A few men began to ride down the mountain to call for a rescue team.
Thankfully, her companions soon joined in the near vertical climb. The rescue party struggled in the waist deep snow and listened for the sound of ice shifting in the cornice hundreds of feet above them. Three hours later they arrived at the side of the injured rider.
He could not feel or move his legs and any movement brought searing pain throughout his back. Being careful to not cause further harm to his spinal injury, the men fashioned a stretcher using tree trunks and rope. It took two hours to carry the man down to another ledge where a helicopter could land. The men were then kept busy gathering wood for the campfire.
As the sky began to darken, Feather worried. The helicopter would not search for them or risk landing in the dark mountains. The injured man worried she’d leave with her companions. She reassured him that she’d leave only when he was rescued.
Though a dozen of the man’s friends remained, all of Feather’s companions left. She might have to remain on the mountain until morning. She doubted she’d survive the night. Suddenly, she heard the “whip”, “whip”, “whip” of helicopter blades in the purple sky. A distant light appeared as the steel bird approached and landed. Tears of relief filled her eyes.
Once the helicopter left with the injured man, Feather stood before her campfire and gazed into smoldering embers. She was miles away from her friends, probably another two hours of fast riding. The freezing wind whipped up showers of snow and slapped it against her face. It stung. Bits of ice stuck to her eyelashes.
No one else heard the spirit. The men were lazily preparing to leave. Their movements were slow, their minds numbed by the effect of their intoxicating drink. Feather threw snow on the fire and hurried to get her snowmobile running. She coaxed her companions to get going. “We’ve got people waiting for us. They’re probably really worried.”
“Get out of here!” the spirit demanded.
Feather gasped and looked up at the moon. It shone on the massive cornice several hundred feet overhead. She pulled on her mitts and fastened her helmet’s chin strap.
Finally the men, all strangers to her, decided to get on their machines and look for the trail off the mountain. Again and again the men stopped. They gathered in front of their snowmobiles’ headlights, and passed around the flask of whiskey. She waited nervously wondering if these men were capable of getting her off the mountain safely. In the dark, the trail could disappear over a ledge, slide down into a river. Would they leave her in the dark? A rider could be lost in the crevasses, travel too fast and slam into another rider. Even a minor injury so far away from help could be fatal.
“Fly away. Get out of here,” the spirit shouted, almost angry like her father when she hesitated to obey.
Each time the men stopped, Feather had to wait. It would be suicide to attempt to find the path down the mountain alone. Then someone she had never seen before approached her. He was dressed in the typical snowmobile gear, completely covered.
“Do you want to keep going?” he asked with a sense of urgency.
Feather couldn’t see the man’s face through his helmet’s face protector. She hesitated. Could this stranger be trusted? She heard the riders laughing, saw them staggering about. She shivered. This was not the first time death hungered for her. Turning back to the stranger, she nodded. “Yes.”
“Follow me, then,” he commanded.
And away he began to speed, swiftly and without checking to see if Feather was still with him. Somehow, he knew she was.
She fought to keep up, follow him up over ridges and down into drifted valleys. Gliding and hanging on to the edge of the trail, she kept the red glow of his machine’s taillight in sight. Fast she rode, throwing caution to the wind. Snow sprayed into her face and trickled down her neck. Her fingers, numb with cold, became stiff with the tension of hanging on and controlling the throttle and brake.
Gradually, the mountain trail became a mountain-logging road, then the parking lot. Exhausted, she stopped and allowed her friends to load her machine. Filled with relief, she collapsed in her truck’s passenger seat. After a few minutes to catch her breath, she sprung out to thank the man who had guided her down the mountain.
He disappeared into the night – known by no one, never to be seen again. No one had witnessed the ghost who led Feather to safety.
A few men rode back up to the mountain ledge the next day. The scene was devastation. The icy cornice had given way and fell down the mountain side, obliterating the camp where Feather and the injured man waited for the helicopter.
Now, my lovely friends, be sure to visit and read more ghost stories.