Filmmakers Get Caught In Middle Of Avalanche With No Time To Escape

Clambering up a mountain would probably be nervy enough for most people - and that's without the imminent threat of a whole load of snow and rocks tumbling down on you. NO THANKS.

That's the situation a group of Spanish filmmakers found themselves in recently, when a sudden avalanche descended on them during a hike in the Karakoram mountain range in Pakistan.

By the time Paco Roses, 52, and his documentary crew realised that the cascade of snow was hurtling towards them, it was already too late - and it took mere moments for them to be consumed by a blanket of ice, rocks and snow.

Credit: StoryTrender
Credit: StoryTrender

The crew were hit by the tumbling avalanche for more than a minute, being forced to find shelter behind some rocks as Paco and his colleague Marta, 31, called out to the crew members they'd been split up from at 4,600 metres.

Eventually, after some time with no response, Paco and Marta managed to make out the outlines of their missing friends once the avalanche began to stop. They rest of the crew then signalled to say that they had thankfully managed to escape unscathed.

They had been saved by having been on a slight incline of land, with Paco insisting that had they been stood at the bottom of the Chapursan Valley, it's doubtful that any of them would have made it out alive.

Of course, being filmmakers, they were also able to capture the whole thing on camera... and the footage is just about as incredible as you'd imagine.

With the group being just the third to tackle this restricted stretch of mountain range, the footage is part of a forthcoming documentary called 1000 Cups of Tea.

Paco, a nature photographer who has been mountaineering for more than 30 years, said: "Our original purpose was to cross a different valley through a complicated pass, but the weather was so bad we had to turn back.

"Going back down, this is where the avalanche surprised us.

"Suddenly we heard a loud and powerful noise from the other side of the glacier.

"Initially we didn't worry because the avalanche was quite far away, but in a few seconds, I was certain the flow would reach us.

"My main concern was to focus on my breathing, because the air was full of snow and ice.

Credit: StoryTrender
Credit: StoryTrender

"We had just enough time to protect ourselves behind the rocks.

"The force of the wind was so strong that, had we not sheltered, it could have dragged us into some deep hole or launched us against the rocks.

"The avalanche felt endless but thankfully nobody suffered any damage.

"I think we were very lucky - if we had been at the base of the valley, the avalanche would've dragged us towards one of the thousands of crevasses in the glacier, and I don't think we'd have survived."

Marta - who is also a nature photographer and mountain guide - added: "I feel very lucky and happy to have had that experience and just return completely unharmed.

"It's probably been one of the most shocking experiences of our lives."

I feel sick just thinking about it. Yeeesh.

Featured Image Credit: StoryTrender

Jess Hardiman

Jess Hardiman is a journalist who graduated from Manchester University with a BA in Film Studies, English Language and Literature, and has previously worked for Time Out and The Skinny among others.

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