A day of thrill and chill took a turn for the worst. A pair of snowboarders become trapped in an avalanche.
“We knew that the avalanche danger was pretty high, but we figured that it was probably pretty dang safe.” said Ennis.
As a storm brewed near Sacramento, California. Loren Ennis and Ben Erskine dropped onto a major summit Wednesday morning.
“I could hear people screaming from the chairlift. Everyone knew what was happening.” said Erskine.
A few minutes later, Mother Nature was at their heels.
“It was blowing up so much snow that was no visibility to tell really if there was any context,” said Erskine.
The two snowboarders swept into what would become a deadly avalanche. Moving with the snow as it roared like riding a wave.
Ennis and Erkine finally came to a halt a few feet from each other, buried in the snow.
“It was like a locked in water slide. It was the most surreal, crazy thing ever cause like you could not move anything in your in your lower body, and it was like a million pound weighted blanket.” said Ennis, “We went over my head and I remember thinking in that moment that there is absolutely no chances that I’m going to live,”
Both men dug themselves free but two people just feet away from them could not.
“We realized that we were the first responders. We were the most capable of helping right the, and it’s super time sensitive,” said Erskine.
While Erskine dug out a man who was trapped, Ennis trudged through the deep snow to skier, Janet He.
“He said, ‘don’t worry I got you,’ I think that’s the best thing I’ve ever heard in my life, I feel like.” said Janet.
After the incident, she snapped a photo with the man who saved her life.
“I remember feeling incredibly grateful that we were in a position to help where it was easy for us to get two people out because it felt like a completely helpless situation.” said Ennis.
The avalanche claimed the life of a man, but for these survivors the mountains still call.
Janet hit the slopes again the next morning, as Ennis and Erskine say they are “stoked” to shred again.