Here’s a crazy POV video of a skier surviving an avalanche while helisking in Alaska. His saving grace? Wearing a piece of backcountry gear called the Backcountry Access Float 30. The avalanche survival backpack includes a reusable 150-liter airbag that self-inflates behind the head and shoulders when pulled by a rip cord. The purpose of the airbag is to keep a skier toward the top of the snowpack during the event of an avalanche, rather than being swept up and buried alive by the swift-moving snow.
Here’s what Jeff Wyshynski, the skier who filmed the video, had to say about the rescue operation immediately following the avalanche. Via Vimeo:
This is just a 10 min video from my helmet cam. I provided it out of public interest and education on the use of emergency equipment. It only shows my limited perspective and only for a short time. Firstly, the operation was not too laid back. To the contrary, there was a heli over my head within seconds. If you listen to the soundtrack, the first question I was asked regarded my status to which I answered calmly and coherently that I was not injured. By the time I skied back to the guide, it was well established that I was ok, the priority switched to the other 2 skiers on the top, who needed to be brought back safely. After they were, I was flown to base for another health check.
Here’s Jeff’s helmet cam video from the avalanche: