Swiss Avalanche: Complete Burial and Rescue

A Miraculous Rescue Against All Odds

Picture this: It’s nuking snow, you’re at your favorite resort with your best friends, and you’ve just dropped in for one the deepest days of the season. A couple turns and a hoot and holler later, you turn to see your best mate swept away, taken under by an avalanche. Are you prepared to save them?

The edit above documents that exact scenario in the Swiss Alps on January 30, 2015. James Mort was completely buried by an inbounds avalanche, and Daniel O’Sullivan documented the entire ordeal with his helmet cam. Against all odds, Mort was found and rescued. This video serves as stark reminder how important it is to be prepared when entering into any avy-prone terrain.

James Mort posted the video and said this of the experience:

It is important to learn from the mistakes of others as well as yourself. I have uploaded this video to act as a learning tool to demonstrate what ill preparedness looks like in an avalanche rescue situation. As the buried skier, I am incredibly lucky to be alive.  The accident happened within the resort boundary on a slope known for slides. Please be careful and never take safety for granted. Decision making is paramount whenever off piste and always carry a beacon, probe and shovel. Most importantly get educated. Stay safe. A full write up of the incident is available here.

Deep days with our best buds are what we dream of, but it is essential to be  ready if and when disaster strikes. You can never be too prepared and it’s super important to keep up with training and practice what to do when a slide occurs.

As many head into the backcountry for late season turns, make sure you practice safety routines and refresh yourself before venturing out. Here’s a beacon searching video that’s good to practice with your friends.