Winter in Colorado brings some of the best ski conditions in the world but in areas outside ski area boundaries, avalanches are a very real danger. One group of skiers was lucky enough to survive an encounter with a collapsing wall of snow and captured the event on video.
Brothers Edwin and Davis LaMair were skiing near Vail Sunday in two separate groups. With a helmet mounted webcam running, Davis watched in horror as an avalanche on a nearby slope engulfed his brother.
“Holy sh**! That’s Edwin in an avalanche,” Davis exclaimed to his friends.
He then descends a steep drop off, racing to his brother to save him from the snowy onslaught.
Davis quickly races to his brother who had managed to keep his head above the top of the snow.
“Breathe,” Davis tells his brother as he starts to dig.
“Dig me out,” Edwin says in reply.
Miraculously, Edwin only suffered a knee injury in the scary episode captured on his brother’s helmet camera.
"I was trying to swim as hard as I could to get to the top," Edwin LaMair told ABC News. "I was immensely relieved when I realized that my face was above the surface, and I could breathe."
The Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) forecast for Vail and Summit counties rates the avalanche danger as ‘considerable.‘ The same forecast is in place for the Gunnison area while other locations in the state are rated ‘moderate’ at this time.
On average six people die in avalanches per season in Colorado, 28 across the United States. Experts recommend waiting 36 hours after a snowstorm to allow the snow to compact and stabilize.