Update: January 13th, 9.03am – Unfortunately Henry’s Avalanche Talks have set this video to “private” meaning it will no longer play on Youtube.
This is one of the scariest videos we’ve seen in a long time. Uploaded to Youtube by Henry’s Avalanche Talks, a well-respected British operation which aims to raise backcountry awareness, it shows the terrifying moment on January 5th this year when a large slab avalanche swept away five people.
Thankfully all of those involved survived, although three of them needed medical attention and one spent four days in the hospital.
Thankfully all of those involved survived
It’s a remarkable outcome and testament to the composure of the group, who found the victims and dug them out themselves within about 15 to 20 minutes.
Two of the group were completely buried by the slide and three were partially buried – and the skier who triggered the avalanche was carried for more than a kilometre down the mountain.
What’s scary is that even experienced backcountry practitioners can find themselves caught out by the scale of a slide – the group apparently believed the spot where they’d stopped to the right of the fall-line was a “safe spot”.
But more than anything it underlines the importance of carrying proper backcountry gear – an avalanche beacon, shovel and probe – and practising how to use it properly.