A Christmas Miracle: 2 Snowmobilers Survive Hours Under Avalanche Yesterday

AvyBrains | | AvalancheAvalanche
stock avalanche image
stock avalanche image

Two snowmobilers from Jackson, WY were buried for hours on Christmas Eve in a large avalanche in Horseshoe Bowl on Teton Pass.

Somehow, both snowmobilers survived.  One broke his femur and underwent surgery at St. John’s Medical Center yesterday.

The avalanche danger was rated as “HIGH” on Teton Pass yesterday.
The avalanche occurred at 1:30pm yesterday.

“All of Horseshoe Bowl remote triggered and came from behind us.  We didn’t see it, didn’t hear it. We were sitting on our snowmobiles chatting and the thing swept us down the debris field.” – Mikey Soderling, one of the avalanche victims

Mikey was buried 3 feet below the surface but he had an air pocket around his face.  He dug hard and was able hear his girlfriend, Anna Pantone, under the snow.
Anna was partially buried, injured, and becoming hypothermic.

“It was beyond scary.  I thought we were both going to die before Christmas. I wasn’t able to hear her voice for that first bit of time and thought I had lost her. I was beside myself.” – Mikey

“After 30 minutes I cried out and I heard her voice in the distance.” – Mikey

After 3 hours, Mikey was able to free himself from the avalanche debris.  He ran to Anna and dug her out.  He then dug out his snowmobile and drove them both to Teton Pass and called for an ambulance.

This couple got very lucky.

“Don’t bank on a Christmas miracle.”

“A lot of people say they’ll stay off the slopes,” Soderling said, “but they don’t think when it runs out that thing is going to run 400 yards and catch you. Don’t travel in avalanche zones. Stuff happens on the flat. We were on perfectly flat ground.” – Mikey Soderling


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One thought on “A Christmas Miracle: 2 Snowmobilers Survive Hours Under Avalanche Yesterday

  1. Glad they made it out ‘ok’. Never a good idea to go sledding when avy danger is ‘High’, let alone sitting in front of an avalanche path.

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