GRAND COUNTY, Colo. (CNN/KCNC) – A Colorado skier had a close call with an avalanche and caught it all on camera.
Lance Light ignored the warnings about dangerous conditions, and he found himself in a potentially deadly situation.
The video from a camera mounted on Light’s helmet captures every moment before, during and after his ride through an avalanche.
“It was just over so quick,” he said. “It was crazy.”
Despite reports of dangerous avalanche conditions, Light and a friend decided to go backcountry skiing on Berthoud Pass.
They had the gear and the knowledge to know what to watch for but decided to take a risk on a more questionable run.
“When you watch the video up close, I ski over a couple other people’s tracks that didn’t trigger it initially,” said Light. “You know, it just kind of comes down to whoever — I don’t know, just kind of random chance.”
Within just moments of making that drop, Light watched as the snow split beneath him and opened up into a full-blown avalanche.
“I saw it fracture, and I just tried to straight-line it over the cliff and instantly deploy my air bag,” he said. “The road was only 300 yards away, and there were tons of people up there — snowshoeing and having a good time — that don’t have any beacons, that don’t have any avalanche gear.”
Aaron Davidson, an avalanche tech in Grand County who responded to this slide, says that idea that avalanches are limited to deep in the backcountry couldn’t be further from the truth and that this is one example that proves they can — and will — happen just about anywhere.
“I would definitely tell them to be smarter about things right now,” said Davidson. “Don’t chose big lines right now; just choose nice, mellow stuff. Wait until the snow consolidates a little bit and the snowpack gets a little more friendly to skiers.”
“Definitely, we should not have been on that slope, definitely not at that time,” said Light.
Light says he knows he should’ve done things differently and says with as much as he had done to educate himself on avalanche conditions, his was a lesson he couldn’t get anywhere else — one he hopes others will learn from.
“Maybe I was in a little bit more of a risky zone, obviously, but it just shows that a lot of things can slide with not a lot impact on them. And they can go big right now,” he said.