Gut-Wrenching POV Avalanche Footage Shows How Frantic And Desperate The Rescue Effort Can Be

‘I felt bizarrely emotionless and wondered for a moment what death would be like’

James Mort was skiing with friends in Switzerland on an overcast day, happy to be where he was. Then, within two seconds, his friend bellows “AVALANCHE!” and everything changes.

As the cameraman (hot James) orients himself after getting hit by a small torrent of snow, he immediately cries out, “Where’s James?”

From the filmer’s perspective, it seemed like a minor tumble, but as the five-minute video unfolds, we’re sucked into a harrowing and frantic search for a skier who was there one minute then...gone.

The two friends, initially clueless as to where James was amid a vastness of white snow, are quick to take action and move with purpose to locate their friend.

In Europe, avalanche control by ski patrol is far less common than it is at stateside resorts. Knowing this, the trio came equipped with shovels and probes (though not beacons, from the looks of things).

Remarkably, James is able to stick his pole out of the feet of snow covering him, which is just enough for the attentive filmer to catch notice and begin the race to save his friend. Seeing the rescue from this perspective is harrowing and nerve-racking, but pales in comparison to what James experienced in his predicament.

After getting swept away by hundreds of tons of snow, he’s completely smothered and disoriented, all the while in complete darkness and possibly unable to hear. He may still have his pole, but he’s got no sense of his orientation – a frantic struggle could send him deeper under the snow. It would behoove him to extend his pole skyward, but he’d likely have no sense if it’s protruding in a direction visible to his friends or just deeper into the snow.

Fortunately, James was rescued, owing his life to his extremely capable friends, as well as some good fortune.

He recounts the entire experience in vivid detail on this Tumblr post. His recollections and account might be as exciting and frightening as the video itself. Here’s an excerpt, but the entire post isn’t too long and certainly worth a read out of interest or education:

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 realised 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.

Doesn’t sound like a pleasant way to meet your end, does it?

A more recent photo of James suggests it will take a lot more than a snowslide to kill the Aussie’s spirit.

News API

If you’re an expert skier unfamiliar with avalanche rescue and survival protocol: get familiar before you go out again. Here’s a video outlining some of the techniques, but really – take a class and learn through practice with an instructor.

Center for American Progress Action Fund

Tonight's Democratic debate is a must-watch for followers of the 2020 election. And it's a nice distraction from the impeachment inquiry currently enveloping all of the political oxygen in America right now.

For most people, the main draw will be newly anointed frontrunner Pete Buttigieg, who has surprisingly surged to first place in Iowa and suddenly competing in New Hampshire. Will the other Democrats attack him? How will Elizabeth Warren react now that she's no longer sitting alone atop the primary field? After all, part of Buttigieg's rise has been his criticisms of Warren and her refusal to get into budgetary specifics over how she'd pay for her healthcare plan.

The good news is that Joe Biden apparently counts time travel amongst his other resume-building experience.

Keep Reading Show less
Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert

This election cycle, six women threw their hat in the ring for president, but is their gender holding them back? Would Americans feel comfortable with a woman leading the free world? Based on the last election, the answer is a swift no. And a new study backs this up. The study found that only 49% of American men would feel very comfortable with a woman serving as the head of the government. By comparison, 59% of women said they would feel comfortable with a woman in charge.

The Reykjavik Index for Leadership, which measures attitude towards women leaders, evaluated the attitudes of those living in the G7 countries as well as Brazil, China, India, and Russia. 22,000 adults in those 11 countries were surveyed on their attitudes about female leadership in 22 different sectors, including government, fashion, technology, media, banking and finance, education, and childcare.

Only two countries, Canada and the U.K., had a majority of respondents say they would be more comfortable with a female head of state. Germany (which currently has a female Chancellor), Japan, and Russia were the countries least comfortable with a female head of state.

Keep Reading Show less
via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

If you are totally ready to move on from Donald Trump, you're not alone. According to a report last April from the Wason Center National Survey of 2020 Voters, "President Trump will be the least popular president to run for reelection in the history of polling."

Yes, you read that right, "history of polling."

Keep Reading Show less
via Around the NFL / Twitter

After three years on the sidelines, Colin Kapernick will be working out for multiple NFL teams on Saturday, November 16 at the Atlanta Falcons facility.

The former 49er quarterback who inflamed the culture wars by peacefully protesting against social injustice during the national anthem made the announcement on Twitter Tuesday.

Kaepernick is scheduled for a 15-minute on-field workout and an interview that will be recorded and sent to all 32 teams. The Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys, and Detroit Lions are expected to have representatives in attendance.

RELATED: Joe Namath Says Colin Kaepernick And Eric Reid Should Be Playing In The NFL

"We like our quarterback situation right now," Miami head coach, Brian Flores said. "We're going to do our due diligence."

NFL Insider Steve Wyche believes that the workout is the NFL's response to multiple teams inquiring about the 32-year-old quarterback. A league-wide workout would help to mitigate any potential political backlash that any one team may face for making an overture to the controversial figure.

Kapernick is an unrestricted free agent (UFA) so any team could have reached out to him. But it's believed that the interested teams are considering him for next season.

RELATED: Video of an Oakland train employee saving a man's life is so insane, it looks like CGI

Earlier this year, Kaepernick and Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid reached a financial settlement with the league in a joint collusion complaint. The players alleged that the league conspired to keep them out after they began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016.

Before the 2019 season, Kaepernick posted a video of himself working out on twitter to show he was in great physical condition and ready to play.

Kaepnick took the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2012 and the NFC Championship game in 2013.

He has the 23rd-highest career passer rating in NFL history, the second-best interception rate, and the ninth-most rushing yards per game of any quarterback ever. In 2016, his career to a sharp dive and he won only of 11 games as a starter.