It was a glorious powder day in the Sierra Nevada when three friends set off into the backcountry at dawn. They had tons of experience and all the essential emergency gear, so they were unfazed by the fact that the local avalanche center had listed the danger that day as considerable. As the trio saw it, if you wanted to enjoy good skiing conditions in the backcountry, you had to accept some risk. But then, in an instant, a slide buried one of them and the other two began a frantic search to find him and save his life before he ran out of air. In this episode, the first of a two-part special exploring our relationship to the hazards of avalanches, we chronicle a miraculous survival story and ask what we ultimately learn when we make it through worst-case scenarios.
This episode is brought to you by Belize, one of the world’s great adventure destinations and a country that’s created a comprehensive and commonsense COVID-19 safety system for travelers. Learn more about how you can safely experience the wonders of Belize at travelbelize.org.