Thursday, September 24, 2009
Video via Andrew Pile
n this intense video, a skier with a helmet cam on gets caught in a huge avalanche, getting buried for four and a half minutes and then getting dug out. Good lord.
The guy in the video was the first one to drop from their group and while not a guide (he was going tail-gunner style), had a lot of Utah and AK backcountry experience. He had a Black Diamond Avalung on, but as you can tell from the video while he's talking as he's dropping in, it wasn't in his mouth to start. He tried to shove it in the instant of starting to get sucked down, but it didn't stay. It was just off to the corner of his mouth he said, and he definitely got snow / ice build up as you'll see on the second sweep of the mouth by the guide after they get to him.
So as he drops in you can also see the sluff to the skier's right immediately start building....and that's actually the chute that was the intended route down. For whatever reason - well pure, unadulterated powder will do it to you - he didn't go make some strong "skier cuts" into the upper pack to do one final snow check.
Instead he just sent it. And it didnt' take more than a few turns out on this big shoulder above this cliff band to break loose.
This was a decent sized avalanche. 1,500 feet the dude fell in a little over 20 seconds. The crown was about 1 - 1.5m. The chute that he got sucked through to the skier's right was flanked on either side by cliff bands that were about 30m tall. He luckily didn't break any bones and obviously didn't hit anything on the run out.
He was only buried for 4 and a half minutes which is incredibly short. In that time, though, you can hear his breathing already accelerate. The ruffling noise back and forth is his chest rising and falling and the noise that his jacket makes. The intermittent whimpering noise you hear is him trying to swallow and get some air. Still sends chills up the back of my neck. Oh and they located him so fast because his right glove came off just before he came completley to rest and there was an excellent visual of course.
For the full story (WELL WORTH READING) Click HERE.