Intense Footage From Skier's Helmet-Cam As He Barely Saves His Friend In Time From Avalanche

March 19, 2015

"The 30th of January 2015 is a day that will forever be ingrained into my memory as the scariest day of my life," James Mort writes on his blog.

If not for his quick-thinking and three brave friends, it would have been the last memory of his life.

skier saved from avalanche video
YouTube - See video below

While skiing in Les Crosets on the Swiss/French border, James and a few friends were hit with a large snowstorm that dumped close to three feet of snow over a 48 hour period.

The group skied into a small V-shaped valley and that's where everything went wrong. James went as fast as he could in order to outrun the avalanche but ended up slamming into a shoulder high wall of snow that stopped me dead in my tracks. He could only watch as the avalanche buried him.

"The last thing I managed to do before I was completely buried was to reach as high as I could above the snow with my left arm and ski pole. This may have ultimately saved my life," James shared.

He added: "As the snow piled higher and higher, It became darker and darker until I was surrounded by an eerie black silence, broken only by the sound of my slow breathing and racing heartbeat. "Okay," I thought to myself. "You’re dead." I had a shovel and probe in my backpack and I was wearing a transceiver, however, the others were only carrying a shovel and probe. I was convinced that they would not find me in time. Unable to move I focused on slowing my breathing, relaxing and conserving oxygen. I felt bizarrely emotionless and wondered for a moment what death would be like. Then I remembered that I was reaching upwards with my left arm, ski pole still attached. I tried to wiggle my hand and I felt a ‘pop’ as the top 5cm of the pole broke the surface of the snow. Suddenly emotion flooded through me as I realized that Andrew, Dan and Leonard would be able to locate me under the snow if they saw the tip of the pole. However I still forced myself to remain calm as I sat in wait."

His friends, Dan and Leonard, were able to do just that while another friend, Andrew, went to get help from ski patrol. Here is the intense helmet-cam footage of Leonard digging deep into the snow to find James' helpless body:

Andrew returned with ski patrol who spent over an hour digging James out before he was finally free.

"I thanked ski patrol for their help and especially thanked Dan, Leonard and Andrew as if it we not for them I would not be able to tell this story."

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