A new video shows what it's like to get caught in an avalanche after two skiers were caught in a large, soft-slab avalanche in the Vail/Summit zone on March 19.
The video shows the skier's point of view as he triggered the slide and then was caught in it. The slide starts about one minute in. The Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) posted it to Facebook to generate awareness.
You hear one skier say, "Whoa!" and then the camera lens is obscured with chunks of snow as he rolls and slides down the slope.
"We often will see a spike or an increase in avalanches occurring during and immediately after big storm events and so going into this weekend is very similar," said Brian Lazar, Executive Director of the CAIC.
Watch the video here:
Neither of the skiers was hurt in the avalanche.
The Colorado Avalanche Information Center says the skier did two things right:
- Kept his hands out of his pole straps before the run, and
- Kept his feet downhill once he was caught.
The video lasts about 25 seconds before the skier comes to a stop.
You can see the snow continue to tumble down the hill next to him, as he holds onto a small tree with both hands. Snow continues to move past him as he clutches the tree.
"We’ve seen a lot of recent snowfall, we can expect a lot of natural and human triggered avalanches in the storm snow much like the avalanche that was captured in that video," said Lazar.
The CAIC warns that 2015-2016 could be one of the worst winters for avalanche deaths in recent years.
Experts recommend checking the avalanche forecast before venturing out into the back country. It's also important to carry the proper equipment including a probe, transmitter and shovel.