– It’s just that when you’re in it, you just think “Oh hell, I just have to get up and breathe». There were some dramatic seconds there, Hedvig Wessel tells NRK.
A ski trip in Alaska has taken a dramatic turn for freestyle skier Hedvig Wessel. On her way down a mountain in the US state, she gets caught in an avalanche.
– First time
Ski Profile is currently in Alaska due to the filming of many movies. It was in connection with the recording that the accident occurred.
In a video Wessel posted to social media on Tuesday, you can see her being hit by an avalanche from behind, instantly becoming trapped under the snow.
Then the 27-year-old was forced to do something she had never done before.
– It’s just a survival instinct. It’s the first time I’ve ever put two airbag dragons in a proper position.
In the end, it was inevitable to fall under the ice.
– After a few seconds there was no sky to be seen. Then I thought I now pulled the airbag, I repeated.
In the photo you can see the airbag inflating behind her and the Oslo girl pulling herself up from the big pile of snow. This was the third time she had a landslide.
– You do not know how much snow will fall on you and whether you will be buried or not. Then and there I thought: «How can I get up from here, it’s not good». It’s like everything stops and everything is quiet in the head. It’s completely calm, but there’s still complete chaos, as I recall.
I wrote in the post that the flight was the second of the day, and that the snow was good and stable. When it spotted the landslide behind it, it tried to veer left and right around each other to avoid being skidded.
She described the airbag deployment as an instinct, and it felt natural and easy. She also had a guide behind her, as well as a helicopter following her.
However, the experience gave her a wake-up call.
– I learned a lot from him. I was able to see the reality and seriousness of it, but I still felt confident and knew I had the knowledge to get out there and drive again.
– Absolutely terrible
Several places in northern Norway were also affected by avalanches in the past week. On Friday, a series of avalanches occurred in Troms, killing a total of four people.
– The thing about avalanche terrain is that it is difficult to see and experience the hazards. I think this movie illustrates this with a beautiful ski run, then in a few seconds it turns into something completely awful, says avalanche expert and researcher at the University of Tromsø, Udon Hetland.
– The fact that you are not taking the risk means that you are exposing yourself to the risk without knowing it, and that is a bit scary, he continues.
Meteorologists recently recommended that you check Varsom.no if you are going on a long flight. On Tuesday, a warning was sent out about the danger of a large avalanche in the Nordenskiöld Land in Svalbard.
On the same day, there were two avalanches caused by skiers on the south side of Tamukdalen in Sjovgelet in Balsfjord in Troms, the police said. The landslide did not hit any of the people.
– There are thousands of people in the mountains every day throughout the season. A lot of them go on avalanche-safe runs, a lot of them go on avalanche terrain, but they’re conservative, and then there are a very few that are unlucky and launch avalanches. They’re the ones we’re talking about, but most do so safely, discreetly, and sensibly, Hetland recalls.
Wessel comes up with clear encouragement for those who go on a journey.
– Get as much knowledge as you can and find out “merchant” with great force. You must have equipment, but above all knowledge of the area. You need to know where you are and what to do if something happens.
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