Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Snowmobiler buried alive in avalanche, see dramatic video

Two snowmobilers race up the side of a steep incline. One motors to the bottom, the other falls off as his machine continues to the bottom of the hill. The tossed-off rider starts trudging through the snow toward his snowmobile.

A third snowmobiler races farther up the incline and charges down, passing above the walking rider.

A fourth snowmobiler waves his arms and points to warn them of impending doom.

Too late.

A small avalanche slides down and buries the walking rider.

And it was all caught on a helmet camera worn by the fourth snowmobiler who was trying to warn them.

Take a look at the dramatic video of the recent snowmobiling incident somewhere in Washington:


The YouTube posting of "Live to tell" included a post from Captain Swanson, the surviving snowmobile rider.
The guy on the white sled rode the avalanche down and knew right where to look for me. These guys saved my [expletive] and got me out fast. Seemed like a whole lot longer when in the snow but thanks for the quick work guys. Looking forward to the next ride with you beacon and all.:)
Good idea. Wearing a beacon is especially recommended when snowmobiling in avalanche-prone areas, such as a steep incline like the one in the video, which shows that it doesn't take much to trigger an avalanche and for an avalanche to bury someone.
Another no-no is riding above someone else on a steep slope. Doing so can trigger an avalanche, as you just witnessed.
It's probably not surprising to know that deadly avalanches mostly involve snowmobiles. From the Safe Riders Snowmobile Safety Awareness Program:
Snowmobilers top the list of those who get caught and perish in avalanches in North America. Understanding the basics of avalanche safety is important for those wanting to snowmobile in avalanche country. It is strongly recommended that you take an avalanche-training course with a field session to learn what to look for. Avalanches that involve people do not randomly occur. Over 90 percent of the time, the victims or someone in their group triggers the snow slide. This means that avalanches could generally be avoided if snowmobilers would learn to follow avalanche safety procedures. The following information is a general introduction to avalanche safety. For additional information, visit www.fsavalanche.org.
For more information on avalanche safety, go to the Forest Service National Avalanche Center.

Be safe out there, snowmobilers.

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