Heart stopping video shows ice climber engulfed by avalanche whilst hanging 35 feet off the ground
This heart-stopping video shows the moment an ice climber is engulfed by an avalanche whilst hanging 35 feet off the ground.
Climber Pierre Chauffour was scaling up a sheer mountain face in the French Alps when tons of snow fell overhead.
Fortunately the Frenchman was protected from the full brunt of the powdery blast by an icicle-covered overhang.
Although he was trapped under the minute-long snowfall, Pierre and the rest of his team escaped unscathed.
Pierre, from Grenoble, France, said: “It was one of the most stressful things I’ve ever been involved in.
“At its worst, I could barely breathe for a good few seconds.”
Pierre had been climbing in the spot with his friend Gaetan Raymond, and their camera team, while they filmed a documentary about dry tooling.
Dry tooling is a new alpine sport using axes and crampons to climb rocks and cliffs.
The group had been scouting out an uncharted area, and found their new secret track an hour and a half away from Grenoble.
Pierre said: “Even though I couldn’t see it, I heard the snow breaking above me as I was descending down the rope.
“It took five seconds before the blast hit us.
“The snow had been falling really heavily, and the strong winds made it really likely.
“Fortunately, the overhang protected me from the full force.
“After the avalanche had stopped I just burst out laughing.
“It was a sudden release of the stress and the adrenaline.”
“Just before starting to bolt the line I chose, we were struck by a first avalanche.
“That first one covered us, putting something like 30cm of fresh snow in a blink of an eye all around us.
“I thought I would be protected from another avalanche by the harness.
“What a mistake.”