Terrifying Avalanche in France Caught on Video

mountain goats staring at us I’ve hiked Gunsight Pass three times and I swear, the hike is trying to kill me.

On my most recent go-around, my wife and I had to avoid a family of protective mountain goats. They had young babies with them and acted very aggressively.

We hiked all the way from the start of Gunsight Pass to Lake McDonald Lodge in one day. It was epic, exhausting and frightening.

At one point, we had to circumnavigate the goats by climbing through steep, rocky terrain. It took us close to an hour to climb around them. Then, when we thought we were past them, we were welcomed by them watching our every move and still acting aggressively. I’m not quite sure how we made it out.

mountain goat staring at me

My second time hiking Gunsight Pass was an attempted single day hike. We made it to Gunsight Lake with plenty of time to spare in the day, but a thunderstorm rolled in and forced us to seek shelter before attempting the pass. After an hour of waiting in a torrential downpour, we decided to turn around.

When Gunsight Pass REALLY Tried to Kill Me

My first time hiking Gunsight Pass was the most dangerous.

It was late June. There was a dangerous amount of loose snow pack along the trail. We had to navigate on, over and under snow pack in order to make it to the summit. This photo shows Orin navigating along the snowpack and using the rocks, which were slimy and wet from melted snow, as holds to stabilize.

navigating dangerous snowpack

At one point, I slipped through the snow, my legs dangling into nothing. My hands still gripped the rocks  and Orin, who was above me at that point, had to yank me up over a rock to save me. I still have a scar on my arm to this day.

A lot more happened on that trip, including getting lost in a thick forest as we attempted to get from Elizabeth Pass to Sperry Chalet and Lake McDonald.

But that’s a story for another time…

What this is about is avalanches.

Avalanches in Late Spring

Springtime is the most dangerous time for avalanches. Recently, a group of snowboarders were killed in Colorado due to an avalanche in the backcountry (this is the best synopsis of the avalanche I’ve read).

On my first Gunsight Pass hike, when we reached Gunsight Pass, Orin and I sat down for lunch.

We heard a rumbling in the distance.

Looking up, this is what we saw:

avalanche at gunsight pass in glacier national park

Avalanches are one of the most dangerous forces that Mother Nature can throw at you. And below is a video a group of French rock climbers took while climbing at via Ferrata, in St-Christophe-en-Oisans, France.

Now, I’ve never been to this area in France. But damn, it sure is beautiful.

And this avalanche is terrifying.

It’s spring time out there. New layers of snow have fallen on loosely packed snow. Every movement morphs the snowpack. It’s a living, breathing creature that can swallow you whole at any time.

I personally avoid high altitude adventures this time of year. My life, my family, my existence–I cherish it too much to put it at risk.

The above video was filmed by Perrine Etard. It’s as epic a showing of Mother Nature’s might as you may ever watch.

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