Avalanche Surselva


"At the time of the avalanche, warning level 3 prevailed. The place of departure was a few meters below the summit, the first steep slope. About ½ hour before, a group of four had entered the slope individually. In addition, there were 2 to 3 ski tracks, presumably from the previous day, in the slope. We decided to enter the slope individually as well. It would have been about 3-4 turns in the slope, then back to the safe back with a wide turn. I made the start. I wanted to stay close to the tracks of the previous group, but due to a small skiing mistake I had to go further out into the still untracked snow. In the process, it came to a crack. I did not perceive any sound. I noticed that something was wrong, then saw the crack, the slabs and that the slope had started to move. I thought "crap - avalanche" and realized I was losing my balance.

The next thing I remember was the release handle in close-up and the thought "go pull now". Ever since I started using the ABS®, I had always wondered if I would be able to find the handle immediately in an emergency. Now it was no problem. Not even with the thicker ski finger gloves I always wear on the descent. As I was being carried along by the snow, I heard the ABS® balloons inflate. I was lying on my back during the whole descent, but was turned once around the longitudinal axis. I also got a blast of snow to the face and mouth once, but was never covered by the snow. I was always on top. It was clear to me that it was going down, but I had no clear sense of my position. I also had no sense of time. The time in the moving avalanche seemed very long and I thought to myself:

"Hopefully it will stop before it gets steep again". Fortunately, it did. I don't remember any pulling on the abdominal belt when the balloons opened. I had not put on the narrow belt in my crotch.

When the avalanche stopped, I was lying unhurt on the cone. I had lost one ski, which I also could not find. One ski was still on the foot. The binding could be opened easily and after a short digging with my hands I had the ski free. I still had both poles on the hand straps. I gave my comrades signs that I was unhurt. They then stayed in the safe area and watched me.

Psychologically, I felt amazingly good and clear after the avalanche. To get to safe terrain to join my comrades, I had to climb back up part of the avalanche track and finally fight my way through deep snow. In the process, I was afraid I might trigger another board, but fortunately this did not happen.

Since I was uninjured and mentally stable, I decided not to make an emergency call, but to ski down. In the valley, we notified a local mountain guide by phone about the avalanche, so that a rescue operation would not be set in motion by third parties."


Foto: Tegan Mierle