This Viral Avalanche Video Is Far Too Close for Comfort

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Do not try it on the trail — or anywhere else for that matter.

Over the weekend, a British hiker named Harry Shimmin filmed being enveloped by a massive avalanche that took place in the Tian Shan Mountains of Kyrgyzstan. The slip was the result of the collapse of a glacier, and it spilled rocks and ice in a ravine and then down the cliff where Shimmin was standing with his phone.

“While I was taking pictures, I heard the sound of deep ice cracking behind me,” Shimmin wrote online. “I had been there for a few minutes, so I knew there was a place for shelter right next to me.”

Rather than seek refuge, however, Shimmin stood and filmed the massive avalanche until it was only a few feet away. He later posted his video on Instagram, where it quickly spread online.

Shimmin said he was on a guided tour of the series with eight Britons and one American when he captured the moment on camera. He said he was separated from the group when the slide began.

In the video, Shimmin can be heard saying, “Oh God, oh dear God,” as a massive wall of snow and ice thunders toward him. At the last second, he dives behind a rock face, and his camera captures images of snow and ice shooting over his head.

“Behind the rock it was like being in a blizzard,” he wrote. “When it was over, the adrenaline rush hit me hard. I was just covered with a small layer of snow, without a scratch. ”

Others in Shimmin’s walking party were not so happy. When he rejoined the group, he discovered that two members had sustained injuries. The American, a woman, suffered a deep cut and had to be transported by horseback to a nearby medical center for three hours. She then flew back to the United States, he said.

By Monday morning, the video had already been viewed 540,000 times. Shimmin tells Outside he has been contacted by so many news outlets that he is now asking for money for interviews.

“I am very aware that I have taken a big risk,” Shimmin wrote online. “I felt in control, but regardless, when the snow started to come over and it got dark / harder to breathe [sic]I was bricking it and thought I might die. “

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