An unnamed man was in Alaska hiking up Flattop Mountain when a thick slab of frozen debris slid down the slope, the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Centerreports. About an hour later another hiker,Alex Kuprienko, just happened to walk nearby and saw his legs sticking out of the snow.
Alex says he started digging through the snow with his bare hands to free the hiker, but was afraid that the person at the bottom was probably dead. Amazingly he was not. Authorities say he was probably able to breathe thanks to an air pocket created by the avalanche falling in large blocks. The avalanche center says the man showed signs of hypothermia, but was conscious and Alex says it’s a “miracle” he survived.
“It’s unbelievably lucky,” explains Wendy Wagner, director of the avalanche center. “It’s really rare that someone has a positive outcome after being trapped under the snow for over an hour. In fact I've heard of about 50 of these incidents and this is the first where the person survived".