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Skier lucky to be alive after being swallowed by an avalanche

An extremely lucky skier named Edwin LaMair was with his brother in the backwoods of Vail, Colo., when he got caught in an avalanche.

In an interview with TODAY, Edwin said he didn't know what was happening at first, but once he realized what was going on, he went into survival mode.

'I was trying to swim as hard as I could to get to the top,' Edwin said. 'I was immensely relieved when I realized that my face was above the surface and I could breathe,' he added.

The avalanche dragged him face first down the cliff over a 20-ft. cliff. When his brother saw what had happened, he raced down the hill, clearing the same cliff, to find his brother buried head deep.

It only took a few minutes for his brother and a friend to dig Edwin out -- and Edwin walked away with just a torn ACL and MCL.

The brothers said the sun was setting when the avalanche struck, and that if it had happened just a few minutes later, the outcome could have been very different.

Join the discussion

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hhijena December 30 2013 at 2:16 PM

That was one of my fears when skiing, bad when I skied often. Especially when you look up and see a potential snow bank that can start to slide atop of your ski trail.

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gabillyjacks December 30 2013 at 7:15 PM


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sindfetish December 30 2013 at 4:34 PM

Glad he is OK

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villigord December 30 2013 at 6:31 PM

BACK WOODS of Vail - that means off trail and out of marked bounds for skiiers. So glad Im a Colorado native so I know better than to do something stupid like that!

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sicilia929 December 30 2013 at 8:45 PM

I remember reading a long time ago about a young man who went skiing for the first time. He was on the bunny slope and he hit a rock, fell and ended up a quadriplegic. Then there was Sonny Bono and one of the Kennedy cousins who ended up dead and now there is some famous German race car driver who is in a coma in France. This is why I don't ski!! It is safer to swim with sharks.

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dennis December 30 2013 at 9:08 PM

Never extreme ski without an Avalanche Airbag strapped on your back.

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1 reply
ksnowkat133 dennis December 30 2013 at 10:30 PM

Got that right

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almasearch December 30 2013 at 2:59 PM

AOL, why do I have to "sign in" twice to post anything?????? Bloody annoying.

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2 replies
filliperogers almasearch December 30 2013 at 5:56 PM

Because you post the same post twice??????????????

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filliperogers almasearch December 30 2013 at 5:57 PM

What more bloody annoying is I have to answer the same post twice!!

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jgeibarc December 30 2013 at 2:54 PM

Thus the old saying... Never wax your skies with peanutbuitter.... it sticks to the roof of your mouth.

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fcalenda December 30 2013 at 2:49 PM

Caught on tape??? Where's the tape? Is my computer not working?? It would seem that if it was caught on tape you'd show it. Maybe it's too much trouble. It seems that I've been seeing less and less videos from this site.

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1 reply
sprtfishr fcalenda December 30 2013 at 3:15 PM

Hmmm, my problem is everything is a video.....If I want to watch something I can turn on the tv. I read the internet news so that I can do it in peace and quiet. Been an AOL subscriber for 20+ yrs. but I'm looking around for another site/server that doesn't force to watch videos.

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meadowsranch435 December 30 2013 at 2:18 PM

if he had beem completely barried, he would be dead. His brother would not have been able to see (find) him. YES he is lucky-- It's lucky his brother was there, and could get to him!

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