Mother Nature is a fickle beast.
Hopefully, you’ve got good gear, strong skills, and—perhaps most importantly—a solid head on your shoulders. But when you’re hitting the mountains, always remember that compared to the terrain you’re on, you are very small and powerless.
Whether you’re skiing, snowboarding, hiking, climbing, sledding, or snowshoeing, it’s important to stay humble on the mountain. The following videos aren’t the easiest or prettiest to watch, but they do a good job of reminding you about the powers of the mountain. Have a look at these sobering videos, and play safe, play respectfully, and know when to back off.
Getting Caught in Avalanche
The room went dead silent when my instructor played this video during my avalanche safety course. Unlike many avalanches, this one has a happy ending—but it’s still not an easy video to watch.
Avalanches are no joke—the entire face of a slope can wipe out from under your feet. Check out this snowmobiler avalanche clip (warning: some swearing involved—you’d probably swear, too.)
Tree Well Rescue
There’s no feeling like skiing trees on a powder day, but tree wells are super real and super dangerous. This video takes place in-bounds, proving that you don’t have to be a backcountry skier to be in danger. Always, always abide by the buddy system when skiing trees and never let your friend get out of your sight.
Losing Footing in Cliffs
You might not be skiing stuff as epic as this guy, but it proves an important point: one misstep can have major consequences. Beware of no fall zones, especially when you’re stepping in and out of gear.
Snowboarders, here’s one for you, too:
Falling into Creeks, Rivers, or Crevasses
This guy’s buddy is laughing, but it’s not so funny if that river is flowing, you fall face first, and/or you’re alone out there. Even when the snow is deep, holes are everywhere. (Warning: swearing)
Crevasses are a whole other beast to contend with. This guy survived due to some innovative thinking—but many aren’t as lucky.