A group of tourists is lucky to be alive after surviving an avalanche. The group of nine Britons and one American were climbing Kyrgyzstan’s Tian Shan mountains with three guides and two horsemen when they heard the ice start to crack.
After reaching the peak of the mountain, Harry Shimmin stepped away from the group to try to capture photographs of the breathtaking views.
“While I was taking pictures, I heard the sound of deep ice cracking behind me,” Shimmin wrote on Instagram.
Shimmin was recording as snow and ice started coming down the mountain toward the group of climbers. While he knew there was shelter nearby, Shimmin continued to film as the snow gained speed and rushed towards him, forcing him to take cover.
“I’d seen much smaller avalanches before and videos of other avalanches, but honestly, my first thought was — ‘let’s see if I can get a good video of this,'” he told CNN. “It got closer to me much quicker than I expected.”
The video cuts out seconds after Shimmin was buried by the snow and ice.
Luckily, Shimmin was unharmed by the avalanche.
“Behind the rock, it was like being inside a blizzard. Once it was over, the adrenaline rush hit me hard. I was only covered in a small layer of snow, without a scratch.”
Shimmin regrouped with the other climbers and was glad to learn they only one person was injured. Shimmin told CNN that the American woman injured her knee and was taken on horseback to a medical facility for treatment. She has since returned to the United States.
Shimmin noted how close the group had come to dying.
“It was only later we realized just how lucky we’d been. If we had walked 5 minutes further on our trek, we would all be dead. If you look carefully in the video, you can see the faint grey trail winding through the grass. That was the path,” he explained on his Instagram post.