GoPro footage of snowboarders caught in an enormous avalanche

With no crowds and pristine snow, backcountry snowboarding sounds like an epic winter experience. But while carving a winter dream landscape is tempting, it’s important to remember the importance of being prepared and careful. A dream session can turn fatal in the blink of an eye, and understanding how to read snow conditions and pack the right gear can save your life.

A perfect example can be found in this terrifying GoPro footage from snowboarder Maurice Kervin, who got caught in a giant avalanche on Loveland Pass, Colorado.

After a few turns, the snow gives way on the steep, open side and triggers a massive avalanche. Kervin’s only option is to use his inflatable backpack and prepare for a wild 1000-foot ride down the mountain.

Fortunately, the inflatable backpack held him above the snow and saved him from being buried. Let this serve as a dramatic reminder that there is no substitute for the right equipment and experience if you choose to go into the backcountry.

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