BIG COTTONWOOD CANYON, UTAH — Wild video shows a snowboarder getting caught up and riding an avalanche in Utah on Sunday.
Blake Nielson shared the harrowing video and detailed his experiences during the incident at Big Cottonwood Canyon.
In his report submitted to the Utah Avalanche Center, Nielson wrote that his group had tested the snow structure and found no instabilities before riding down the Argenta slide path in the canyon.
"I descended first and dropped into the hanging bowl after making a heel side turn, an isolated wind slab broke loose below and above me which knocked me off my feet and took me for a ride," wrote Nielson.
As he's caught up in the avalanche, Nielson can be heard yelling to his snowboarding partner that he was sliding with the debris. By using swimming motions with his arms, Nielson was able to stay on top of the avalanche before he slowed down and stopped after about 300 feet.
Nielson reported that the slope had slid about 1,300 feet in total.
In the report, Nielson urged anyone in similar circumstances to respect the wind, writing, "Even a small 'manageable' wind pocket can break and carry you a long way in steep terrain with long runouts." He added that he did not anticipate the cross-loading snow to be an issue, but says it was a "lesson learned."
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