This story involves the following:
- David: A professional snowboarder from Canada
- Megan: David’s wife
- Helipro: A company that organizes Heli-skiing and heli-snowboarding tours in the Kamchatka Peninsula in the north east of Russia
- Mikhail: A cameraman who works for Helipro. He films skiers and snowboarders from helicopters.
In 2015, David was snowboarding down a mountain in the Kamchatka Peninsula. The snow was deep and untouched and David started an avalanche.
Unaware of the danger, he continued down the slope, moving from side to side with the avalanche behind him getting stronger and stronger, faster and faster.
David saw the avalanche just in time. But he didn't panic. He used his skill to move to the side of the avalanche and escape.
David felt lucky to be alive. He felt certain that if he hadn't escaped, he wouldn’t have survived.
That night, David was having drinks with his friend Mikhail.
“I am lucky to be alive,” said David over and over again. “If I hadn’t escaped the avalanche, I wouldn’t have survived.”
Mikhail said, “David. I have a surprise for you. While you were snowboarding down the mountain, I was filming from the helicopter. When you started the avalanche, I was filming. You continued down the slope, moving from side to side with the avalanche behind you getting stronger and stronger, faster and faster. You were completely unaware of the danger. Meanwhile I was filming. You saw the avalanche just in time.
“I didn’t panic,” said David.
“No,” said Mikhail. “You used your skill to move to the side of the avalanche and escape. And I caught it all on camera. Would you like to see the video?”
Mikhail took out his mobile phone. They watched the video over and over again. They argued about whether or not David would have survived.
David returned to Canada. His wife Megan (also a professional snowboarder) asked him how the trip had been.
David said: “Megan, darling. I am lucky to be alive. I was snowboarding down a mountain. The snow was deep and untouched and I started an avalanche. I was unaware of the danger, and I continued down the slope, moving from side to side with the avalanche behind me getting stronger and stronger, faster and faster. I saw the avalanche just in time.
“Did you panic?” asked Megan.
“No, I didn't panic,” said David. “I moved to the side of the avalanche and escaped. I’m lucky to be alive, I tell you. If I hadn’t escaped the avalanche, I wouldn’t have survived. And Mikhail caught it all on camera. Would you like to see the video?”
David showed Megan the video and Megan noticed something that no one else had seen. On the right hand side of the screen, a confused Arctic hare runs across the slope and into the avalanche.
“The poor creature!” said Megan.
David couldn’t believe that neither he nor Mikhail had noticed the Arctic hare. He sent a message to Mikhail to tell him about it.
Now, it is very easy to lose sight of a white hare in an avalanche. Mikhail knew that and he decided to investigate. He found the exact moment in the video at which the hare disappears. He zoomed in and played it in slow motion. And he couldn’t believe what he saw. Do you think the hare survived?
Mikhail send a message back to David. It said: “David. I think this story has a new hero."
What song do you think they chose for the video?
It's #2 on the playlist: