Planetski.eu is reporting that a 26-year-old Austrian man was buried under feet of snow following an avalanche on Christmas day.
The man was backcountry skiing the Plestschnitzzinken south of Salzburg when he was hit a buried by the slide.
A friend, who was concerned after calling the man’s cell and getting static, contacted the emergency services.
A team of rescuers from Gröbming consisting of avalanche dogs, groomer drivers, employees of the Galsterbergalm cable cars, mountain hut keepers and alpine policemen eventually picked up the man’s avalanche transceiver signal.
Rescue operation – photo Bergrettung Gröbming
Rescuers were able to excavate the man from under feet of avalanche debris five hours after being buried. The man was able to survive thanks to an air pocket located deep below the snow.
He was said to be suffering from severe hypothermia but otherwise largely unharmed.
A professional rescuer said that such a long survival time happens only once every 20 years in the Alps.