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'Embraces you in snow': Calgary man narrowly escapes avalanche in Lake Louise

Last Updated Dec 9, 2019 at 5:35 pm MDT

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – A Calgary runner got more than he bargained for when he was on a trail near Lake Louise.

Realtor Bryon Howard was out for a run at the end of the day when he saw an avalanche roaring down the side of the mountain.

“I looked over my shoulder and there it was,” described Howard. “It’s rolling toward me.”

He said his running group shares regular picture updates in a Facebook group. He pulled out his phone and managed to catch the snow powering down the hill.

The moment was captured in a selfie video and posted it to YouTube as he was encased in a cloud of white.

“I didn’t really hear anything but my wife was behind me by about 200, 300 metres and my son was another 300 metres behind her, and they both heard a boom.”

On the video, you can hear Howard gasping for air as he frantically runs away.

“Avalanche…into Lake Louise, Wild!” Howard said at the end of the video. He said he spends a lot of time in the backcountry and had done avalanche training.

“This could bury me,” he recalled thinking. He says he sprinted back up the trail toward safety but the cloud of snow began to engulf him.

“It just embraces you in snow and once it stops, if you have your breath, apparently, you can freeze there in the snow. It was occurring to me as I was running away from it that my zipper wasn’t all the way up and that could be [dangerous].”

He says it was an interesting experience and he has an appreciation for how fast things can happen.

If you’re headed to the backcountry, remember to check the snow reports and avalanche danger ratings.