Bury me deep

27 09 2009

This is terrifying.

It’s from the head cam of a skier who set off—and was buried in—an avalanche. Over half of the video (total time: ~8 1/2 mins)  is simply a shot of fractured blue, with the skier’s stressed breathing providing the soundtrack.

Sweet Jesus! (said the unbeliever).

I was once buried under snow, albeit for likely less than a minute.

Although we lacked mountains in SmallTown, Wisconsin, we did have snow. One wintry day, when I was very small (4? 5?), I stood with the older kids on our dead-end block and waited for Mr. K. (a neighbor who worked for the city) to pass by where we were standing with the snowplow. The idea was to let the snow knock us over.

Good times.

It’s just possible that the older kids warned me off, or told me to back up, but it doesn’t matter: I stood along side of them as the plow passed.

And was promptly knocked back and buried by the thrown snow.

I do remember screaming. The kids pulled me out lickety-split, and I remember laughter. I think it was meant to reassure me.

Still, I screamed.

I doubt I told my parents. Bad enough to get stuck under a reverse-snowplow-avalanche; who needed yelling or a spanking on top of it?

I haven’t been buried alive since, although I retain my fear of such a possibility to this day. I think it at least partially explains my aversion to spelunking, the unlikeliness I would ever do anything other than open-sea diving, and my mild claustrophobia. Coupled with a near-drowning at 9, it is no surprise that I remain highly protective of my ability to breath at all times.

Guess I can cross back-country downhill skiing off the list, too.