JACKSON HOLE, WYO – First off, we’re glad this sledder is safe and sound. Secondly, we all owe this southeastern Idaho man a debt of gratitude for posting the video of his near demise. So we all can hopefully take away something.
In the snowmobiler’s own words:
Yesterday was a sobering day for myself and the guys I ride with. I was mostly buried in an avalanche near Mount Jefferson near Island Park, Idaho. Thanks to the quick action of those around me, I was fortunate to make it out unharmed.
I’ve struggled with the decision on what to do with this video, as I’m ashamed of my decision to put myself and others in harms way, but I’ve decided to post it in hopes that others can learn from my mistake. Aside from the poor decision to attempt this line given the risk, there are several things that I’d do differently if, heaven forbid, this were to happen again.
First and foremost, I initially misjudged the slide and delayed deploying my airbag. There is absolutely no reason to wait with my style of airbag, and my hope is others can learn from this mistake.
Secondly, after getting dug out of the slide, my first reaction was to remove my pack/airbag as it was fully inflated. I should have left it on while digging out my sled and while in the vicinity of the slide.
Third, we were fortunate enough to have extra riders around, and should have briefed early in the day that in the event of a slide, one guy would stay back in a safe area due to the possibility of a secondary slide.
Most of these things are common sense, but in the moment can be forgotten so please think through this beforehand and brief your fellow riders at the beginning of the day. I’m sure there are many other mistakes made, and would encourage any constructive feedback so that we all can learn from this.