Skiers Survive Pair Of Avalanches

7 friends buried by the slides last week in British Columbia

Mountain Green - MOUNTAIN GREEN (ABC4 Utah News) - A dozen skiers are lucky to be alive getting swept away by a powerful avalanche last Thursday in Canada.

The 12 friends, experienced skiers mostly from Utah, and two guides were enjoying a day of CAT skiing on Mount Mackie in British Columbia.

But it all changed in one second.

Jason Bond was at the top of bowl about to drop in.

"I heard the entire mountain just make a loud "woof" sound,"  Bond said. "It was loud. It was big."

It was the sound of the snow collapsing and starting to slide.

Creighton Green was perched atop some rocks below.

"I hear him yell 'Avalanche' I look down at my group and I instantly see them starting to slide and giant blocks of snow," Green told ABC4 Utah News. "Blocks of snow the size of a Volkswagen Beetle."

Green accidentally hits record on his GoPro camera when a 2nd slide starts.

"Oh we're sliding," he can be heard saying on the video. "Look out! Look out! Get out! Avalanche!"

"As it started to go down we had an area of trees and when it hit those trees it was like a big white explosion," Green said. "In that moment we couldn't see any of our buddies. They were gone."

Bond was above the slide and watched 10 friends and his own father disappear under the snow.

"Besides us yelling, it was just silent and there was no movement," Bond said. "I thought everybody was dead."

Jared Flitton was one of 7 skiers who were buried.

"It's like a raging river and I was in a washing machine I was flipping over, tossing, turning," Flitton said.
"We went off two sets of cliffs, through tons of trees and I could feel that. My thoughts going down were 'What's the next thing I'm going to hit?'...I thought I was going to die."

Amazingly the skiers in their group that weren't buried and the assigned guides were able to use visual clues and their beacons to locate their friends and find every member of the group.
 

"The way it worked out where people were buried and how things were positioned, there definitely was a higher power involved," Green said. "There were miracles that happened during those 7 to 8 hours that as we got people off the mountain and there's now a brotherhood and a bond between us 12 that is unlike anything else."

Now they live to share their story and their warning.

"I think all of us feel a huge responsibility to educate others, tell them this is real," Green said. "This can happen. You're not going to outrun an avalanche. You're not going to be able to get away from it easily. These things are powerful and they do kill."

One member of the group remains hospitalized in the Intensive Care Unit but is improving and should make a full recovery.

The rest escaped with just broken bones, scrapes and bruises.


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