Call me lame, but if my boyfriend packed a snow beacon and an avalanche shovel for our ski trip, I'd unpack and spend the weekend at the gym. But these tools came in handy for one adventurous couple, who went skiing in Utah's Millcreek Canyon. Their snowy hijinks triggered an enormous avalanche, and the woman, 43-year-old Elisabeth Malloy, was quickly buried. But luckily her quick-thinking boyfriend wasn't buried -- and he was prepared.
The couple are experienced cross-country skiers, and they say they knew the area they were in was ripe for an avalanche, but they couldn't resist the temptation skiing the canyon anyway. Says Elisabeth's boyfriend, 30-year-old Adam Morrey: "Our judgment was overwhelmed by the pursuit of having more fun."
But "fun" wasn't on the agenda that day, unless you think being buried alive by snow is fun. Because as the couple climbed past 9,400 feet in the canyon, they triggered an avalanche.
Says Elisabeth: "I didn’t hear the collapse but I saw the slab coming."
The couple were both swept away but only Elisabeth was buried. Adam called to her, but after getting no response, he went to work trying to locate her.
Elisabeth was under two feet of snow. She made an air pocket and said she decided the best thing to do was "meditate and breathe slowly." She says she'd repeat things to herself like, "It's not time for me. I'm not ready yet. I'm just going to breathe really slowly and Adam will find me."
Eventually Elisabeth passed out and stopped breathing. By the time Adam found her, her heart had stopped. But she awoke to the "kisses" of her boyfriend -- which was really his frantic attempts to do CPR on her. He was able to locate her thanks to the glowing beacon she was wearing. He and someone who happened to pass by then hauled her down the slopes for three hours. She has frostbite but is otherwise okay.
Couple of lessons here: Elisabeth and Adam need a new, less dangerous hobby. And Adam is a keeper.
Have you ever been rescued from a life-threatening situation?
Image via Fox13