One man heard “deep ice cracking” and believed he was “bricking” it. He thought he would die when an avalanche thundered down a mountain in Kyrgyzstan towards him.
Harry Shimmin was one of nine Britons and an American who were on a guided tour through the Tian Shan Mountains. He said that they were fortunate to have survived after a section of glacier had broken off.
He said that if they had walked five minutes more on their trek, they would have all been dead,” in an Instagram post.
“We would only have heard the roar before the lights went out.”
27-year-old Mr Shimmin said that they had just reached their highest point when he decided to separate from the group and take photos on top of a cliff edge.
He said that he was aware of the risk he took, but that he felt in control.
He added that “when the snow started to come over and it became darker (and) more difficult to breathe, I was bricking them and thought I might be dead.”
“I was perched on the edge of a cliff, so I couldn’t run from the shelter (hence why my body doesn’t move).
“Yes, I did not move until the very last second, and I am certain it would have been safer to go to shelter immediately.”
The video shows a snow and ice carpet rolling down the mountain and getting closer to him until it reaches the top.
He said, “Behind rock it was like being in a blizzard.”
“Once the excitement was over, it hit me hard. I was only partially covered by snow.
“I felt giddy. “I knew that the rest of the group was farther away from the avalanche, so it should be fine.”
They were all safe except for one individual who had “cut her knee very badly” and “rode one the horses to the nearest hospital”.
“The entire group was crying and laughing, happy to be alive (including that girl who had her knee slit),” Mr Shimmin stated.
“We only realized how fortunate we were later.
“You can see the faint grey trail that winds through the grass if you watch the video carefully. This was the path.
“We walked along it, passing through massive ice boulders, and rocks that were thrown further than we could run, even if our actions had been immediate.
“The path runs along a low ridge that hides the mountain, making it even worse. We would have heard nothing but the roar of the mountain before the lights went out.”