Considering the pain and loss she’s just endured, you may have a hard time convincing professional skier Elyse Saugstad that she’s a lucky woman, but it’s true. Saugstad was tackling Tunnel Creek in the Cascade Mountains with a group of other experienced backcountry skiers, when a large sheet of snow broke loose from the side of the mountain. Elyse and three others were sent hurtling 3,000 feet down the slope, sadly, only she survived the ordeal. Her almost miraculous escape was thanks in large part to the inflatable airbag system she wore. The safety gear has been available for sometime in Europe, but it only recently started making a splash here in the US. The large bladders filled with nitrogen helped keep her near the top of the avalanche, making it easier for her to breathe once the snow had settled and easier for rescuers to find her. Hit up the source link for an interview with Elyse Saugstad.
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