You might not consider the threats above when climbing amid the snow top mountains. However, the snow might collapse at any time in a devastating avalanche. This was the situation for a party of roughly ten persons on a guided trip of Kyrgyzstan’s Tian Shan mountains. After reaching the highest point of the journey, the party heard the sound of ice breaking; an avalanche was suddenly heading their way. It had past them in less than a minute and, thankfully, no one had been injured.
One of the hikers, Harry Shimmin, recorded a scary video of the entire occurrence. After breaking away from the group to take photographs, he noticed an avalanche on the horizon and began filming it. Shimmin adds in an Instagram caption, “I’d been there for a few minutes previously, so I knew there was a location for shelter just next to me.” “Because I was on a cliff edge, I could only rush away from the shelter (thus my inaction).” Yes, I waited until the last minute to move, and yes, I realize it would have been safer to go to the shelter right immediately,” he admits. “I’m quite aware that I took a significant risk.” I felt in command, but as the snow started falling and it grew dark/harder to breathe, I bricked it and feared I would die.”
Shimmin then describes the encounter and its consequences. He did nicely and was only lightly powdered with no scratches. “I knew the remainder of the group was further away from the avalanche,” he says, “so [they] should be fine.” “When I rejoined them, I saw they were all unharmed, albeit one had seriously injured her knee” (she rode one of the horses to the nearest medical facility). Another had fallen off a horse and had minor injuries.”
The group as a whole was laughing and crying—everyone was relieved to be alive. It wasn’t until later that they recognized how fortunate they had been. “We would all be dead if we had gone five minutes farther on our journey,” Shimmin adds. “If you watch the video closely, you can see a thin grey path meandering through the grass.” That was the way to go. We walked through it afterwards, among big ice boulders and rocks that had been flung far further than we could have ran, even if we had acted quickly. To make matters worse, the trail passes beside a low hill, blocking our view of the mountain, so we would have just heard the roar before lights out.”
Harry Shimmin caught this terrifying video of an avalanche on the Tian Shan mountains in Kyrgyzstan.
He was on a guided tour with a group of roughly ten individuals. Everyone survived the avalanche but understood how fortunate they were.