Buried under 10 feet of snow after an avalanche this week at an Idaho ski resort, Bill Fuzak prepared for death.
“I had already relegated myself to the inevitable as I knew the air would not last long,” Fuzak, 62, wrote on Facebook. “I’m really surprised how calm I felt, but knew there was nothing I could do but wait and pray.”
His prayers were answered. Fuzak became one of four survivors extricated from Tuesday’s avalanche at the Silver Mountain Resort near Kellogg, Idaho.
Three skiers were killed, including a Minneapolis neurosurgeon who was working on a pediatric fellowship in Seattle, according to the Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, Wash.
“It is with profound sadness that we acknowledge the death of Dr. Molly Hubbard,” the University of Minnesota Department of Neurosurgery told the Spokesman-Review in a statement. Hubbard graduated from the school’s residency program in 2019 and was working at Oregon Health and Science University.
It took about 120 people and the help of specialized radar equipment to retrieve the 33-year-old’s body from under 20 feet of snow Thursday morning, the Spokesman-Review reported. The resort reopened Friday.
Fuzak, a skier who lives in the nearby Spokane area, said he was entombed in the snow for about 50 minutes, much longer than most avalanche survivors. Unable to move anything but his right hand, he cleared snow from his face and mouth.