Tourists filmed the moment a huge avalanche hit their group while they hiked Friday in Kyrgyzstan.
The video was taken in the Tian Shan mountains by British hiker Harry Shimmin, who was one of nine Brits and one American on the guided tour, according to his social media post. The group had reportedly just reached one of the highest points on their trek when Shimmin heard ice cracking behind him, he wrote in the caption.
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The video starts moments after Shimmin heard the cracking sound, he wrote. “I’d been there for a few minutes already so I knew there was a spot for shelter right next to me,” he continued. “I was on a cliff edge, so I could only run away from the shelter (hence why I don’t move). Yes I left it to the last second to move, and yes I know it would have been safer moving to the shelter straight away.”
Shimmin admitted in the post that he was “bricking it,” a British colloquialism that means he was pretty damn scared in the moment. “When the snow started coming over and it got dark [and] harder to breath, I was bricking it and thought I might die,” he continued.
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“Behind the rock it was like being inside a blizzard. Once it was over the adrenaline rush hit me hard. I was only covered in a small layer of snow, without a scratch,” Shimmin said of the moments after the avalanche. “I felt giddy. I knew the rest of the group was further away from the avalanche so should be okay. When I re-joined them I could see they were all safe, although one had cut her knee quite badly.”
The woman was transported by horseback to a medical facility at a nearby goldmine and was subsequently sent back to the United States for treatment, according to CNN. (RELATED: Video Shows Tornado Ripping Through Town In China, Sparking Fireball)
Despite the bad cut, Shimmin and his group rejoiced at their survival, according to the post. Had they walked on for five more minutes, they could have all died in the avalanche as the path beyond them was covered in ice boulders and rocks after it ended, he wrote.
Kyrgyzstan President Sadyr Zhaparov said in June that mountainous countries like his were at greater risk of melting glaciers than others, according to the Independent. The nation has more than 10,000 glaciers, he noted in an interview with the outlet.