Have you ever been in a situation where you fully believed you were about to die? What thoughts occurred just before and after you made it out alive? [serious]

I've written this before, so I'm just going to repost it, because there is now more to the story.

TL/DR Available below

Last month, I was trying to clear off a "ice rink" on top of a mountain. It was at 5,200' and only accessible by helicopter. My plan was to fly up some guys and film the best game of hockey ever. Here is a picture of the location.

Well, the helicopter I fly, the Robinson R44 is notoriously hard to start in cold weather, so, every 2 hours I was going over and starting it up to keep it warm. (they have motorcycle sized batteries and starters to keep the weight down)

The temps were -3c during the day and while working, it was quite comfortable to be in just a t-shirt in the sun while shovelling. Well, as soon as the sun dipped behind the mountain, the temp dropped to -11c in a matter of minutes.

We were just packing up for the day, and were about to get off the mountain, and I knew I needed to get the helicopter started to get it warm. But, I left it about 15 minutes too long because we were almost done packing up.

When I went to start it... no dice. It just cranked until the battery wore down and wouldn't fire. It went from -11c to -15c and the temps were dropping quick. I was prepared for something like this and it was always my greatest fear while working up there, so I was caching survival gear. I had 10, 3 hour fire logs, 15 gallons of fuel, tarps, rope, shovels, and ax and hatchet, ground cover, a survival kit, extra packs of hand warmers and foot warmers up there in case something like this happened...

So, when it was apparent we were stuck, I ran to the edge of the lake and called a buddy who flies helicopters from an airport about 10 minutes from where we were. He had already left the airport and wouldn't be able to get us before dark, so I said "Don't call Search and Rescue. We have survival gear and we are all committed to spending the night. Come get us at first light, and bring blankets and hot drinks. We're gonna be cold. If it gets too bad, I'll hit the ELT (Emergency Locating Transmitter which sends an emergency signal to satellites (via radio signals) (nope, I was right the first time, Satellites).

After the call, we gathered everything we had and dragged it all to the most protected area of the lake from the wind. We didn't have a lot of time before dark, so we used an overhang of snow to cut down how long it would take to build our shelter. We placed a pallet on the ground to keep us off the snow and build half an igloo covered with a tarp, and lit a fire. Not an idea plan because the snow could have collapsed, crushing us, but it was the lesser of 2 evils at that point.

By the time it was dark, temps were between -21c and -25c and it ended up being the coldest night in the history of Vancouver in February. The coldest night ever, we're stuck at 5,200' and I was wearing jeans. (I had good boots, good gloves, heavy jackets and toque... but jeans. Stupid. I know. The other 2 were dressed a lot better than I was.

The winds were hitting 20 to 30kts where we were, but over 50kts on the ridge. We were pretty protected where we built our shelter until they started switching direction and ripping through our little igloo thing. At 10pm, one of my buddies disappeared for 30 minutes, and came back with 5 trees. I asked where he found trees, and he used the ax and the hatchet to scale the steep slope and cut them down. At that point, I realized we were in bad shape, and weren't going to last real well for the next 10 or more hours until our morning rescue was scheduled.

So, at 10:30pm, I asked the guys, "From where we were when the sun went down 5 hours ago, to where we are now... Draw a straight line for the next 10 hours. How bad will it be?" We all agreed that in 10 hours, if things keep getting worse on a straight line... We're gonna be fucked. If things get worse quicker than that, some of us might die. Me, in jeans, was top of the list for being dead.

So, I flipped the ELT and we waited, hoping, wondering if help was coming. Over the next 2 1/2 hours, the level of bad wasn't a straight line. It was starting to hockey stick and getting a lot worse, quickly. I'm not a religious person, but I was starting to consider prayer as an option. With the windchill, it was probably between -50 to 60c and our survival kit wasn't holding up. Because of how hastily we built our shelter, the fire was under the overhang of snow, causing it to drip on me. I was warmer in the shelter, but my legs were getting wet. I was in a real predicament because I was somewhat "warm", but getting wet was robbing heat. I didn't know how to improve my situation and was shivering pretty bad. My thermal "Space Blanket" was great for keeping heat in, but tore really easy. After an hour or two, it was ripped in 3 pieces and not helping anymore. The other guys were also starting to shiver and one of them was wearing a snow mobile suit.

Finally, at around 1am... I heard the greatest sound ever as a Canadian Search and Rescue helicopter appeared in the distance. We all scrambled out of the shelter and rushed to get the trees my buddy cut down lit, and started throwing gas on the fire to signal the chopper.

They orbited in the distance, about 2 miles away, which, at first seemed normal to me as it looked like they were trying to figure out the wind and how to make their approach. But, after going past 9 times without signalling us that they saw us, we started panicking because it looked like they hadn't seen us. I said, "guys, if they don't see us soon, they are going to move to the next valley and look somewhere else. You 2 run to the end of the lake and start a second fire. I'll keep this one going... "

But, as my buddies were about to light the second fire, they looked back as I chucked more gas on the fire and the 2 mountain peaks beside us lit up like christmas trees. They stopped making the fire cuz it was pretty apparent they had seen us. Sure enough, on the next orbit, they came in to get us.

Literally the most excited I've ever been. I can't thank those guys enough, and if there is ever a member of Canada's 442 Squadron in a bar, drinks are on me all night. If you need a place to stay, I'll sleep on my couch. There is very few groups in the world who can do what those guys do, to fly into the mountains on a completely moonless night, and make a landing at 5,200', and thankfully they are there. I literally owe them my life in the worst outcome, and my fingers or a few weeks in the hospital in the best outcome.

This was our shelter and with the tarp off and the helicopter that came and rescued us.

One thing to take away from it was, if you're ever planning to use a space blanket in an emergency situation, they are great in ideal conditions. But, once you put a tiny tear in them they shred their entire length. Look into products like this. Much more durable.

TL/DR I tried making an ice rink on the top of a mountain, and the helicopter I fly wouldn't start, stranding us on the mountain in -50 to -60c wind chills. The most badass group of rescue pilots came got us at 1am off the top of the mountain and saved our lives. So yeah, I almost died for hockey...

Since that day, I ended up catching the attention of Molson Canadian with the clip of the rink on top of the mountain and they contacted me about how to do that. I worked with them for a few months, and finally they unveiled their plans to me, which included licensing my footage for use in a Molson commercial, and an entire ad campaign around a rink accessible only by helicopter.

My footage aired in a 30 second spot at the beginning of the NHL season, and they paid me for it. Then, around Christmas they launched their second commercial, building a rink on a mountain lake in the rockies.

Then, on instagram I used their #anythingforhockey hashtag for a picture I took in the mountains, and they entered me into their contest to play hockey on their rink. Rogers sent out a film crew and filmed the story of me getting rescued off the mountain.

A few weeks ago, they flew myself and 11 other winners out to Invermere BC, and gave us a chance to play hockey on their rink at 8,300' in the Canadian Rockies.

Every week, they are releasing a new 2 minute video that plays before Hockey Night in Canada. Part #1 and Part #2. I am so damn excited for the next 2 segments!

So yeah, who would have thought writing a story on Askreddit would lead to all this! Some of the coolest experiences of my entire life! So... I guess... Thanks reddit!

/r/AskReddit Thread