Alive after 17 hours under an avalanche

A 21 years old has been found alive under an avalanche after 17 hours. He was found conscious and with just mild hypothermia according to the rescue services.

The man was skiing off piste near Evolène in the Swiss Valais when he was buried by the slide. His family reported him missing at 17h30 and a search found a slide measuring 50 by 150 meters with tracks entering. However for safety reasons the search operation had to be suspended until Sunday morning.

At first light rescue workers in a helicopter over flew the slide and saw the surface of the snow move. The man was buried some 50cm under the snow and was probably saved by the depth of burial and an air pocket he had managed to create around his head.


Posted by davidof on Sunday, 07 February, 2010 at 11:20 PM

Get an ABS airbag if you haven’t got one already...!!!

Last saturday in Verbier, we were 5, on our way to the hidden/secret valley (past Rocky garden) with a guide and we were just carrying our skis on the last section before you cross over from the Lac des Vaux side. The guide warned us to keep 50m between each person… 2 other guys on skins arrived out of nowhere and tried to overtake me, I noticed them when they were 5m above me and tried to warn them, but it was too late… they triggered the whole thing below them… all the face went… and me with it...120m/150m in a washing machine… I managed to stay calm, pulled on my ABS, and after a few rolls under the snow, the ABS wings helped me to get to the surface where I tried to ‘swim’ with the avalanche… I managed to stay on top until it stopped..then a whole lot of snow covered me at the bottom of the slope… The guide could see part of the red wing from the ABS, and I managed to punch a hole in the snow to get my face out.. the guide dug me out after 5 minutes…
I just hurt my right eye a little bit, and I feel like I played a rugby test match against the All Blacks by myself… but I’m fine.
Get an ABS airbag if you haven’t got one already… it really helped me.

Posted by  on  Thursday, 11 February, 2010  at 12:01 PM

Yes, if you are caught by a slide and ABS or Lifepulse is the best way of keeping on or close to the surface and burial depth is key. If Cedric had been upside down the outcome would have been totally different.

Posted by davidof on  Thursday, 11 February, 2010  at 01:16 PM
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