Intrepid Medical Conferences, Medicine in the Mountains 2019 is done. It was a fun event and we had some fabulous people join the Intrepid Crew for the four days of a wilderness medicine conference in the ski resort of SilverStar, British Columbia, Canada.
Ah there goes the alarm-“birdsong”: it’s supposed to be a more calming introduction to the day. It was still dark and -20 degrees out; why would any bird be about?
Out the door by 0600, at least a hearty breakfast would be waiting in the conference room, and plenty of caffeine to start the neurones firing.
Thermals? Check. Ski pants? Check. Mid layers? Check. Goretex jacket? Check. Gloves and hat….oops will need those. Pack, transceiver, shovel, probe? Check.
OK it’s downstairs to the Chilcoot Room for the fuel up and pre scenario preparations. It is all go at 0700, with two teams assembled and the “patient”, in this case a backcountry skier with a leg injury located not too far from the “hut”.
Rescuing the patient requires us to implement the things we learned inside
The goal is to locate, stabilise and transport the injured person back to the hut. It all requires good team work, communication, improvisation and application of things learned here at the conference.
By 0900 it’s all wrapped up and time to get some tree runs in with a bit of fresh powder that fell overnight. Time enough to get a big day in before reconvening at 1600 for 2 hours of fun indoor sessions.
The Vance Creek Hotel and Conference Centre once again provided great hospitality and the conference venue was ideal for our indoor sessions.
Thanks to the 1609 staff for the breakfasts and afternoon snacks that kept us fuelled for the event.
Our delegates come from far and wide – everyone has a keen affinity for the mountains
This year delegates came from diverse locations: Maine, Ontario, Quebec, New Zealand, and even Nunavut!! They brought with them a wealth of experiences, stories, and above all a sense of adventure and keen participation. We had most of the snow sports covered with participants on snowboards, skis, Alpine Touring gear, Telemark Skis, and Cross Country equipment.
Once again, guide and wilderness medical educator, Jim Ongena joined the team for some fabulous practical insights into wilderness medicine. Jim’s knowledge and his stories provide us with a unique insight to wilderness mountain medicine We can’t wait for the new commercial version of his emergency bivvy to hit the shelves: light, portable, warm and robust.
This year’s scenarios were again a fun way to learn and participate: even with those extra cold early mornings, everyone got into the groove for the outdoor sessions. The teams overcame the oddities occurring with the transceiver searches and performed really well. They even found “Harry” and rescued him from a long cold day in the snow.
At all Intrepid Medical Conferences delegates get to present to their peers and again this year there was some very useful practical information shared with us, such as: field management of hypothermia, a simple screening test for mandible fractures revisited, shoulder reduction techniques, avalanche airbag utility and deployment, and challenges faced by the medical director of a wilderness adventure race.
As with all Intrepid Medical Conferences, it’s not just about the CME ( continuing medical education). Rejuvenation is a big part of what we like to deliver to delegates. This year’s social program helps with that goal. And it was a blast with a fun quiz night as part of our Welcome session. A family friendly but ultrafast tobogganing evening and a tasty conference dinner at our favorite Silverstar restaurant 1609.
Continuing medical education and rejuvenation is Intrepid Medical Conferences
The snow conditions turned on and I think everyone had a blast on the slopes, in the tree stashes and on the groomers!
Above all there was a great sense of camaraderie with our colleagues and mountain lovers.
Thanks to all for the amazing input and we look forward to the Medicine in the Mountains 2020 program.
( Medicine in the Jungle 2019 is first, though!!!).