Caught on Camera: Avalanche Drags Skier Face-First Over Cliff

"It was just like being cemented in place," he told KUSA.

By Marcus Harun
|  Friday, Dec 27, 2013  |  Updated 1:22 PM EDT
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A Skier in Vail, Colorado is buried in an avalanche but manages to survive. The episode was caught on camera, Kevin Torres reports

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A Skier in Vail, Colorado is buried in an avalanche but manages to survive. The episode was caught on camera, Kevin Torres reports

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One seasoned skier was no match for an avalanche that overtook him on the slopes in Colorado this weekend, tossing him face-first off a cliff.

Edwin LaMair — who said he had skied on similar mountains for years and taken avalanche safety courses — is now recovering from a torn ACL and some other minor injuries.

LaMair triggered the dangerous snow slide while skiing near Vail, Colo. on Sunday. The 800-foot wide avalanche swallowed up the experienced backcountry skier, and he was thrown over a 20-foot cliff.

"It was my first real turn on the slope, and I saw downhill from me to the left that the snow was kind of cracking up and starting to slide," LaMair told Denver NBC affiliate KUSA.

The snow tore his skis off, then buried his entire body — except for his head, luckily.

"Even though I could breathe, I was still panicky and freaked out, because I still couldn't move any part of my body at all. It was just like being cemented in place with just your face above," LaMair told KUSA.

He would have been trapped had it not been for his brother, Davis, and a friend who came skiing down soon after. Together, they dug him out in just a few minutes.

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