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Think YOU Will Never Get Caught In An Avalanche? Neither Did This Guy...

POV footage of one lucky skier who got caught in avalanche in Engelberg, Switzerland.

 

40 comments
    • Anonymous

      Actually digging pits is no longer as helpful as people once though. AIARE is teaching not to make a decisions based on pits just because they can vary so much even if they are side by side.

  • B

    Yo some dude on the tram told me there had been recent avys in the area.
    Then while i was sking small avys were propagating all around me.
    So I’m gonna go huck off that rock band onto an unsupported wind slab just above that cliff there. But it doesnt matter if I’m an idiot and ignored every red flag, I got the GEAR man.

    • TC

      Seriously. “I entered carefully to see how stable the snow was”… as if all the previous slides he had triggered didn’t paint a good enough picture of the stability.

  • Marchand

    What an amazing video, glad he decided to share it and point out all the lessons he learned from this incident. Hopefully this will help prevent at least one other person from sharing his experience.

  • why...?

    He is a lucky man. As one guy pointed out, why in the world would you choose to ski this clearly wind-effected line after hearing of slides and the area from a local and setting off more than a few small ones himself. It was blatantly obvious that the snowpack was unstable by the slides prior to the big one in his video. Only a broken vertebrae. True luck.

  • Flipper Dan

    Has anyone heard of people getting buried WITH an airbag system? I dont know many backcountry skiers so my only real source of info is the internet and there arent many videos of people not making it, for good reason. I dont need specifics I just am wondering if there are a lot of deaths or burials of people that had airbag systems. And dont worry, im still gonna go buy a beacon shovel and probe and have the proper knowledge before I go to the backcountry so dont go all crazy on me like you guys tend to do.

    • Dirty H

      http://unofficialnetworks.com/avalanche-deaths-alps-113865/

      Swedish woman buried 1.8m deep with airbag

      This guy broke his back even with ABS

      Still, they have a huge effect on survival rates. The thing is, do you want to play the game of “can I survive a slide?” or make terrain choices that keep you out of slides?

      Seems to me like airbags (and beacon/shovel/probe, even helmets) make people feel like license to shred regardless of snowpack. Think this is not the last instance of someone with gear and training that gets caught making a bad choice in the face of clear red flags.

      And you need to be crazy to be in here. Welcome to the asylum.

  • $$$

    i was into the dude being okay, but then a little discouraged as he continued to explain all the mistakes he made. he also didn’t seem to take too much away from it…um, like, know your terrain so you can know where and how to fall once the avy takes you??? nice backup plan!

  • Powfiend

    lots of negativity and ignorance from the sideline, your missing the point of the video… the reality is that we have all at onetime or another made a bad decision or series of bad decisions and this guy is sharing his experience in a very well thought out mannor in order to prevent others from making poor choices as well. and all the shit talking on airbags is getting old, they are effective tools that increase your chances of survival so why harp on people who use them? seems logical to wear one to me. Also pretty sure that his friend dug him out with his hands because he was not buried and would be quicker and more effective to get him out with his hands. Point is stop talking shit and learn something from this!

    • ryan

      You sound way to intelligent to be on unofficial. This site is for overzealous ski-jock retards. Go enjoy your smartness so we can bitch in peace.

  • Pingback: Ski News – This Week in Skiing (wk 4) | Ski Magazine - MySkiHoliday.com

  • Anonymous

    People are not “shit talking” they are calling like they see it. Dude said some really stupid ass shit. Then skied into a avalanche zone carefully, haha. See what good carefully did for him?

    I will agree on one thing. The ABS pack is just another tool, for TOOLS.

    Knowledge and good decision making will keep you alive longer than any gadget you purchase.

    • gorby

      He made some mistakes. But it obvious that by taking the time to make this video he has put constructive thought a lot about the incident. My guess is he has taken a lot away from it. The question is, will you put your arrogance aside and listen to what he is saying? Or is your knowledge and good decision making so superior that you don’t need to learn anymore?

      • Anonymous

        Gorby
        I’ve already learned when a good decision can easily turn into a bad decision. It’s because of this I’m still alive today. Hopefully this guy will learn that his poor decisions could have cost him his life.

        These days it seems everyone wants to be the next viral video star showcasing their stupidity for fame.

      • Chip

        So, Is ‘you want to make sure your head is out of the snow’ an example of constructive thought?.. How exactly do you achieve this? ‘Know what is below you so you can prepare for it’??.. Are you f’in serious?.. Where is the ‘Unless you’re absolutely sure about the stability of the snowpack choose a conservative line so you never find yourself in this situation’?.. So many things he could’ve said and this inanity is it?.. I don’t get the impression he’s ANY wiser for the incident..

  • fastandlazy

    this is a very illuminating video.

    i’d like to point out one further mistake:

    as he was skiing the line that he noted set off several “small avalanches”, he was skiing at the same time as his friend, not very far behind. this is not a safe thing to do in avy terrain. if they were doing this when the large slab broke, they are very lucky to not have both gotten buried.

  • Ashley

    Regardless of how you feel about the skier’s attitude, we ALL stand to learn something from his experience. You could evaluate his line choice, which was high risk given the wind-affected conditions and obvious terrain traps, but did you pause the footage to identify more suitable lines? This video is an important reminder of the danger of convexities and trigger points on various parts of a line.

    But, most importantly he shared a frightening experience with a community of viewers that was likely to be critical of his decision making. Will shaming people improve our collective understanding?

  • Brian the Zealot

    It seems like the in-thing these days is to bach these after the fact avy videos. The result will be that eventually people will stop posting them. By definition, every time a person is caught in a slide it is an accident that is a result of bad judgement, because no one ever “needs” to be in that spot. Bashing is throwing salt in the wound. I never see people calling the guys at TGR and MSP “tools” after they, under the guidance of pros, set one off on a movie shoot. Maybe the lesson is that if you ski enough high-consequence lines it is not a matter of “if” but “when”.

  • Aaron T

    Thanks for sharing, certainly a very lucky encounter!
    For those that are commenting on the mistakes made, I know how frustrating it can be to see so many ‘avalanche safety’ basics being ignored, but as long as we take this video for what it is (educational/sharing) and it isn’t glorified.. then it serves its purpose.

  • Dinglesnowberry

    WOW…. A lot of you people are straight up douches…Thank goodness this guy is alive so he could learn from his mistakes, AND we can learn from them to and we know the equipment we purchase at least works…Sometimes our brain doesn’t always but at least sometimes we get a 2nd chance. Ride safe, smart, and slay the pow away.

  • Ski Both

    Thank you for posting this, after my friends sister was killed last weekend in an avalanche (trauma) and after losing a local ski patroller this year also due to trauma, it’s essential for everyone in your party to be trained for recovery and also to be aware of BC conditions. You were very lucky my friend.

  • Chuck

    If you never expected an avalanche to happen to you, then why would you dish out $1000 on an abs pack? Otherwise, thanks for sharing your mistakes with us. I think a lot of people on here like to pretend that they are ‘saints’ in the backcountry, but the truth is we all do stupid things and make poor decisions. Glad your ok

  • Bo

    Yeah drop the negativity, everyone knows better in hindsight. I think this was a great way to share the learning he took from this experience. And most people who ski this type of terrain would disregard many of the steps (if not more) on a daily basis shaking them off as trivial. You can’t predict what does and doesn’t mean anything but I think the overall point being made is a good one. Just be prepared and take care.

    Thanks for the video, a great way to deliver information, this would be a good teaching video because I think it’s just really genuine.

  • Pingback: Good avy video of a skier caught in a slide, ABS Air Bag seems to help a lot.

  • bob van der rip

    unfortunately with more and more people accessing the backcountry we will see more injuries and deaths no matter the season. education is key. this guy is lucky.

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