Survivor of 50 Minute Avalanche Burial At Idaho Ski Resort Interviewed

Survivor of 50 Minute Avalanche Burial At Idaho Ski Resort Interviewed

Avalanche

Survivor of 50 Minute Avalanche Burial At Idaho Ski Resort Interviewed

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Tragedy struck last Tuesday on Silver Mountain near Kellogg, Idaho when an inbounds avalanche caught seven people, killing two.  One of the survivors is a man by the name of Bill Fuzak. KHQ reports he wrote this post on Facebook about the experience and did a phone interview you listen to below:

“I heard another skier said “it’s giving way, try to stay on top” a few seconds later while swimming to try and stay on top of the slide it slowed and pulled me down completely under the snow. As the moving snow ground to a halt and compressed around me I started punching upwards with my right fist to create an air hole above me. I was able to successfully reach the surface with my right fist and then started creating space around my mouth and face to get air.”

After punching through the snow for air, he started hollering and waving his hand out the hole in hopes of being spotted, it was then that a second more powerful avalanche slid over his breathing hole:
“I heard and felt the snow compress around me and I was unable to move anything but my right hand to clear my face and mouth. At this point, I tried to calm my breathing and conserve air. I don’t know how long I stayed conscious after that. I had already relegated myself to the inevitable as I knew the air would not last long.”
The first thing he remembers after regaining consciousness was a group of rescuers cheering that a survivor had been found. Bill was buried under 10 feet of snow:
“I cannot give enough thanks and compliments for the effort shown by the Silver Mountain Ski Patrol, Search and Rescue volunteers as well as other skiers and riders that played a role in saving my life and the other riders lives. My family especially wants to thank them all for saving us. My heart goes out to the families of the two riders that did not survive.”

images from KHQ

 

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