Skier narrowly survives avalanche by jumping off 100-foot cliff in California

Summer Lin
·1 min read

A California man said he managed to survive an avalanche when he was skiing last month by jumping off a 100-foot cliff.

Kyle Johnston was skiing with his cousin John Daiek on Feb. 12 in South Lake Tahoe near Blue Lakes, Tahoe Daily Tribune reported.

The pair had come up with an escape route in case of trouble but when the avalanche was triggered, Johnston was forced to go off a cliff, according to the publication.

“Due to the way the avalanche broke, it broke above me and not below me. I just got really lucky, simply put. Where it was taking me, if I had gone with it, was taking me to where I felt a really bad outcome,” Johnston said, KRON4 reported.

“Once I landed, I knocked out and was unconscious. Then I got buried by all the snow that was behind,” Johnson added, according to the station.

Johnston told KOVR that he blacked out after landing and was pushed 200 yards down the hill by the rushing snow. He said Daiek found him and dug him out, and he was flown to a Reno hospital for treatment.

“Getting the knowledge, getting the know-how and just being with someone that you trust. And that’s the reality of it. My cousin saved my life,” Johnston said, according to the station.

February was the deadliest avalanche month of the past 10 years in the U.S., according to data from the American Avalanche Association and National Avalanche Center. While around 25 people die from avalanches in typical winters, that many people died in the month of February alone this year.