Géraldine Fasnacht: Guardian angel in the avalanche


"It was a fantastic powder day with blue skies and good conditions, a perfect day for filming. We filmed near the gondola in Verbier, our goal was to have enough footage for the season. When I stood at the top before this run, I thought the conditions would still be good enough - that was a mistake. I didn't realize that the snowpack had changed in a very short period of time due to the rise in temperature. It took a long time to prepare for the run and about halfway down the slope I noticed the difference. But at that moment it was already too late. On the last steep section, which was in the sun, it happened: a snow slab came loose and the avalanche unleashed its full force. At first, I thought the snow slab was just a small slide - a mistake: I was in the middle of a big avalanche, riding out was impossible. For the first time in 15 years as a professional, I pulled my ABS® avalanche airbag. I reached the deployment handle quickly and easily; within seconds, both airbags filled with air. It was as if I had wings: my ABS® TwinBag pulled me up and kept me on the surface. I was still carried along by the avalanche for a good 300 meters, but I had a stable position and was no longer moving uncontrollably. When the avalanche came to a stop, I had a lot of snow in my mouth, but I was unhurt. I extricated myself from the masses of snow as quickly as I could to get to a safe place.

The accident was a shocking and formative experience for me. This experience once again strengthened my resolve never to go out without an airbag. I was definitely very glad that I had my ABS® backpack with me at that critical moment."