The video above was posted this week to a French-run Facebook page for Le Dahu Futé BSM Les Arcs, which monitors road and weather conditions for travelers in the Les Arcs area. Les Arcs is a ski resort in Savoie, France, located in the Tarentaise Valley town of Bourg-Saint-Maurice. So we’re assuming the above video came from around the Les Arcs backcountry (we were not able to confirm that). Regardless, it’s an incredible (and terrifying) example of how to stay cool under pressure during an avalanche situation.
The unidentified man in the yellow coat is buried by a significant slide, which is fully visible on his GoPro. His partners stay completely calm, setting their beacons to search mode, narrowing down the burial area, then finding him with a probe. They uncover him in time, and he’s still conscious (barely) and coherent.
You can see a picture of the group at the end so it’s safe to say that the man was okay. The key to avoiding avalanches is not to go into avalanche terrain. But if you and your group decide that the conditions warrant riding bigger, steeper slopes, then you need to be ready to do this, exactly as this group did. In short, you must be ready to protect each other in case of a slide.
Editor’s Note: Learn to make smart, safe decisions on your quest for untracked powder in the Essential Guide to Backcountry Basics and Avalanche Awareness with splitboard aficionado Nick Russell and avalanche instructor Sam Thackeray supported by White Claw. The Inertia readers save 10% with code INERTIA10.