An avalanche is every skier’s worst nightmare. For one man, that nightmare was very real after being buried by an avalanche for more than an hour before being rescued.
The unnamed man was skiing with friends in the French Alps in January when disaster struck.
(Warning: The video contains graphic language)
Immediately after the snow collapses around the group of men, one goes to alert the ski patrol, while Dan, the man filming,and another begin looking for their buried friend. Unprepared with no tools, the men try their best to find him. Fortunately, the man had the quick-thinking of extending his ski pole as high up as he could before the snow completely covered him. This action ultimately saved his life, as it helped alert his friends to his location.
Since the incident, the unnamed man has written a blog to tell his story and warn others about the danger of avalanches. He writes about his near death experience.
“I looked up just in time to watch the avalanche envelope me. The last thing I managed to do before I was completely buried was to reach as high as I could above the snow with my left arm and ski pole. This may have ultimately saved my life.”
“As the snow piled higher and higher, It became darker and darker until I was surrounded by an eerie black silence, broken only by the sound of my slow breathing and racing heartbeat.’Okay’ I thought to myself. ‘You’re dead.'”
“Unable to move I focused on slowing my breathing, relaxing and conserving oxygen. I felt bizarrely emotionless and wondered for a moment what death would be like.”
Luckily, the friends spot the ski pole sticking out of the snow and begin assembling a shovel. As they begin to uncover his hand, the ski patrol arrives and helps rescue the man. It takes little more than an hour to free the skier.
The group of men say they were not equipped with the proper avalanche emergency tools. Next ski trip, they promised to have an avalanche kit that includes a transceiver, which sends out a radio message if buried in the snow, a probe that determines the position and burial depth of a victim and a shovel.