Earlier this year, a group of friends went to hit the slopes of Provo’s Mount Timpanogos when off in the distance the sight that no mountain goer wants to see appeared and an avalanche starting barreling toward them.
There are two main types of avalanches: Slab and powder snow.
Slabs are a cohesive block of snow, ranging in thickness from a few centimeters to 3 meters, that has been cut out of its surroundings. These account for around 90% of all avalanche fatalities.
Powder snow, on the other hand, is pretty much what it sounds like. A powder cloud hangs over a dense avalanche as it races down the slope, reaching speeds of 190 miles per hour and sometimes amasses up to 10,000,000 tons of snow. These are by far the most powerful of the two.
The avalanche that we see in this video from Utah was dubbed a “powercloud”, meaning snowflakes suspend in the air and act similar to flow from a volcano, according to PetaPixel.
As the avalanche approaches the skiers, they’re at first impressed and then terrified as they realize it’s not going to stop before hitting them and they’re about to be in the middle of the storm.
You can hear one guy in the video:
“What the heck bro, that’s one of the biggest avalanches I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s gonna pummel us!”
Of course you’re going to see some comments saying they should have tried to get out of the way, but it’s pretty clear there was no escaping this. The cameraman did a great job showing it coming toward them before hitting the ground to try and avoid what they could of the cloud.
Fortunately, no one was hurt and they left with just a great story to tell, but man, that’s a close one.
I’ve always wanted to get into skiing or snowboarding, but seeing videos like this really makes me second guess myself.