Skier gets caught in avalanche, gets saved by friend

Friday, March 20, 2015

On January 30th 2015, James Mort was skiing with some friends in Les Crosets, on the Swiss/French border, when he was surprised by an avalanche. He tried to outrun it but he got caught in it and the snow covered him. Fortunately, his skiing partners, who had had shovels and probes on them, were there to rescue him. Footage from his friend Daniel O'Sullivan's GoPro got uploaded to YouTube.

James made a website, where he wrote about the whole experience, in the hopes of helping others learn how to be prepared for an avalanche.

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."
I had a shovel and probe in my backpack and I was wearing a transceiver, however, the others were only carrying a shovel and probe. I was convinced that they would not find me in time. 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. Then I remembered that I was reaching upwards with my left arm, ski pole still attached. I tried to wiggle my hand and I felt a ‘pop’ as the top 5cm of the pole broke the surface of the snow. Suddenly emotion flooded through me as I realised that Andrew, Dan and Leonard would be able to locate me under the snow if they saw the tip of the pole. However I still forced myself to remain calm as I sat in wait.

Soon my vision became brighter and I heard some muffled voices, then suddenly everything went white as Dan and Leonard excavated my face, I later learned that Andrew had taken a different line and had gone to get ski patrol. I let out a short groan and stifled the words;
"Boy am I happy to see you guys".
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