A group of 10 tourists – nine Britons and one American – who were caught in the avalanche in the Tian Shan Mountains managed to avoid serious injuries, but were left with a great story and stunning pictures.
“It wasn’t until later that we realized how lucky we had been,” Harry Shimmin wrote. “If we had walked 5 more minutes in our hike, we would all be dead.”
by Shimmin avalanche video racked up 900,000 views on Instagram.
He says he had separated from the tour group to take photos at the top of a hill.
He heard the sound of ice cracking and began filming as snow and debris began sliding down the mountains directly towards him.
He notes that because he was at the edge of a cliff, he had nowhere to run, but he found a sheltered place. The video shows snow pouring over him as he ducks behind rocks.
“Yes, I waited until the last second to move, and yes, I know it would have been safer to go to the shelter straight away,” he wrote. “I’m very aware that I took a big risk. I felt in control, but regardless, when the snow started to fall and it got dark / harder to breathe, I was bricking it and I thought I might die.”
Shimmin, a 27-year-old Briton, is an experienced adventurer. He holds the Guinness World Record of most backward somersaults in a parachute jump.
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