Authorities are describing an unidentified British man as being “very, very lucky” after he was swept away in an avalanche in the Italian Alps.
According to the Daily Mail, the man was not traveling alone. He was accompanied by two other climbers. Their party had departed the base camp Thursday morning at 2:00AM to begin the descent down Europe’s tallest point: Mont Blanc. At some point on the descent, an avalanche touched off casting a torrent of snow and ice in their direction. Two of the climbers managed to avoid the avalanche, but their partner was carried away to what they thought was a certain death. It was not to be.
According to his companions, the man began to swim the avalanche or perform swimming-type motions. Those motions kept him at the surface of the avalanche preventing the weight of the snow and ice from crushing him to death.
The man continued the motion over a distance of about 700 meters or roughly one-third of a mile. It was at that point when the avalanche halted, and the man rose up from his would be white grave and walked away on his own strength.
Speaking to the Mail Mr Tibbetts said:’It was an unfortunate accident. Avalanches are difficult to predict.
‘We were a group of three and one of us got hit but myself and Misha didn’t and are OK. The other guy is very, very fortunate.
‘He didn’t have an airbag on him as we were travelling light. He was carried quite a way down but he survived.
‘He rode the avalanche, floated near the top and managed to walk away at the end of it. He’s got a few bruises and is a bit shocked but otherwise OK.’
He suffered injuries and is now recovering in the hospital. His quick response is credited with him cheating death.
British climber injured in Mont Blanc avalanche but cheats death by ‘swimming’ through devastating snowfall