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Géraldine Fasnacht: Guardian angel in the avalanche

28.04.2014


"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 was standing on top before this ride, I thought the conditions were still good enough - that was a mistake. I didn't realize that the snow cover had changed within a very short time due to the rise in temperature. The preparations for the run took a long time and about in the middle of the slope I noticed the difference. But in that moment it was already too late. In the last steep section, which was in the sun, it happened: a snow slab came loose and the avalanche unfolded its full force. At first I thought that 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 the two 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, did not move uncontrolled anymore. When the avalanche stopped, I had a lot of snow in my mouth, but was uninjured. I freed myself as fast as I could from the snow masses to get to a safe place.

The accident was a shocking and formative experience for me. This experience encouraged me once again to never go out without an airbag. In any case, I was very happy that at this critical moment I was ABS®-backpack with him."