Heart pounding video published Sunday by a local news organization shows the terrifying moments a backcountry skier triggered an avalanche in the Colorado mountains.
The footage, obtained by KCNC-TV, was captured from a camera attached to Lance Light’s helmet and shows him ride through a brief avalanche on Berthound Pass Saturday.
“It was just over so quick, it was crazy,” Light told KCNC-TV.
[sharequote align=”center”]“It was just over so quick, it was crazy.”[/sharequote]
According to KCNC-TV, there were reports of dangerous avalanche conditions, but Light and his friend were well equipped with gear and knowledge, so they decided to ignore the warnings.
Things did not go as planned.
“When you watch the video up close, I ski over a couple other people’s tracks that didn’t trigger it initially,” Light said.
Light told KCNC-TV he saw the ground split underneath him.
“I saw it fracture and I just tried to straight line it over the cliff and instantly deploy my air bag,” he said. “The road was only 300 yards away and there were tons of people up there snowshoeing and having a good time that don’t have any beacons, that don’t have any avalanche gear.”
Aaron Davidson, an avalanche expert in Colorado, said Light experienced a medium sized avalanche about six to eight feet deep.
He also dismissed the myth that avalanches are limited to extreme backcountry skiing destinations and is now advising individuals on how to stay safe on the slopes.
“We’re definitely telling them to be smarter, don’t chose big lines right now, chose nice mellow stuff,” Davidson said. “Wait until the snow consolidates a little bit and the snowpack gets a little more friendly to skiers.”
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