A climber is lucky to be alive after being caught up in an avalanche while he clung on for his life on the side of a mountain. You can see the shocking footage here:
Leland Nisky was climbing The Ribbon in Ouray, Colorado, earlier this month when he was caught up in a terrifying avalanche 400 feet off the ground.
As soon as the avalanche started, quick-thinking Nisky axed the mountain so he could hold himself in place as snow poured over him.
Nisky shared a clip of the incident on Instagram, where he said it was ‘one of the most terrifying experiences’ he’s had while solo climbing.
He went on to say it took ‘every ounce’ of his strength to hold on.
Speaking to Climbing, Nisky explained: "It was loose snow sloughing off the surface and building until it became an avalanche. Probably caused by a gust of wind. In the video it’s hard to tell, but I was slightly under a bulge of ice, meaning that I did not see it coming.
"I was actually switching my hands to place my tool when it hit. It was terrifying. I’ve been partially buried in an avalanche years ago in Washington, and the same terror overtook me."
He went on: "I knew if I stayed terrified I probably would die, so I concentrated on controlling my breathing, hugging in tight to the wall to prevent snow buildup on my body, and tucked my head down to breathe a little air bubble.
"It was immense pressure, and I felt chunks of snow bouncing off my backpack and body. I thought I was going to die. If a wave of any more force hit me, I don’t think I could’ve held on."
It was Nisky’s first time climbing The Ribbon and it took around 45 minutes.
Afterwards, he was able to get back down to Earth in around 20 minutes and treated himself to a hot chocolate to warm up.
Understandably, the climber said he is still coming to terms with the near-death experience.
"I’m still mentally unpacking this situation and coming to terms with its effects on my head game and mental psyche,” he said.
"I’m sure my list of learnings from this experience will never cease."
Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@nemonisky
Topics: US News