PLB Used for Trail-Runner Pinned Under Boulder



Survivor Stories


PLB Used for Trail-Runner Pinned Under Boulder

PLB Used for Trail-Runner Pinned Under Boulder
Lives saved






Medical emergency

Medical emergency

Normal conditions

Normal conditions


PLB Used for Trail-Runner Pinned Under Boulder

-39.2817207°S, 175.5685104°E

Posted on February 22, 2023 by Chris

What happened?

Starting the Trip

The last thing I grabbed before I left my house that weekend was my brand new Personal Locator Beacon.

Did I need it? Is it too heavy? I’ve never needed one before, so why now?

Me and three friends decided to do the triple trail-run: Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe, and Tongariro. The Tarawera Ultra had been postponed and we wanted an adventure.

Chris and his Mates

At 4 in the morning, we packed our bags for the adventure ahead. My bag was full and the first thing on my mind was to leave the personal locator beacon behind.

Short trip, no need, right?

I was a new owner of the only PLB in the group. A lifetime in the outdoors I had never ever had one. On two occasions leading up to this trip I just opted not to carry it.

I had the PLB in my hand and at the last moment said, “I’ll take it.”

So, the plan was a training run in the mountains and we started on Ruapehu early Saturday morning. We got to the summit at about 7:30 in the morning. The beautiful blue sky of the day greeted us.

On the way to Tukino, I was scouting ahead for the group, down on a rocky trail following a stream. My mate said to leave my pack with them and check out the trail and they would bring it down with them if there was a way.

Needing Rescue

I stood on a boulder that was well over a ton (1500kg), scouting the road ahead of us, when it suddenly gave way from under me. Going over the lip of the boulder and it crushed me against the side of a glacier; locking me in from shoulders to hip. I passed out from pain and woke up about five minutes later when a friend got to me.

The Boulder Chris was Caught Between

I tried making my goodbyes to my family.

But somehow, during the accident, my arm fell in front of my body, saving my chest from being punctured by the boulder. My friend managed to pull me out after about 10 minutes trapped. There was no cell service, so we set off the PLB and a helicopter came over the ridge 45 minutes later.

Helicopter Coming In

I was airlifted to the hospital – where I recovered from my injuries (10 broken ribs, avulsion tears to my hips, and crushed radial nerves), 8 weeks off of work and nine months later I am finally back to a near normal; surviving thanks to the one item I’d hesitated to carry.

Words of wisdom

Life is short, It can be all over in a minute.

“there are a million things we survive every day without recognizing we were ever at risk. Then we have a close call, and we become acutely aware of what that fraction of an inch or that split second means.”
Aron Ralston, Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Thank you note

It literally saved my life, this little piece of equipment I’d taken for granted and for years hesitated to buy- saved my life. Thank you

Rescue location

Mount Ruapehu, Manawatu-Wanganui 3989, New Zealand

Rescue team


ResQLink™ View

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Small but resilient, the ResQLink View has been professionally engineered and tested to ensure it can withstand even the harshest elements. This buoyant Personal Locator Beacon requires no subscription for use and includes a digital display providing live status and GPS coordinates. Whether on land, at sea, or in the air, trust that the ResQLink’s satellite precision and military durability, put rescue in the palm of your hands.

**Based on test report from an accredited laboratory   WARNING: PROP 65  
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ResQLink™ View saves lives

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