One moment a skier is dancing down a mountain. The next, the snow begins to buckle and break, sending him tumbling at greater than freeway speeds. Battered like a log in surf, his mouth and nose clogging with icy particles, he can snatch only a few ragged breaths. And then he is locked in darkness, so solidly entombed in snow that he can't move a finger. There is a 50 percent chance he will die within 30 minutes.And it's nearly always the skier's own damned fault.
March 11, 2006
A description of getting caught in an avalanche: