In an endearing twist of fate, two brothers miraculously survived a major avalanche in Colorado which hit a popular backcountry ski route.
On Wednesday, Nov. 25, the two brothers who have been identified as Brian and Alex Holmes were skiing from Trout Lake to Ophir when the avalanche was triggered. Both thought that the other had not survived the catastrophe.
According to the San Miguel County Sheriff's Office, 26-year old Brian began his descent from the Fatwa area near the Waterfall Canyon when he accidentally triggered an avalanche in the process.
His brother 27-year-old Alex watched helplessly as the massive snow slip began sweeping his sibling down the mountain, before Brian vanished completely.
Alex decided to search for Brian and started skiing downwards not realizing that this would trigger yet another avalanche. Deeming it unsafe to continue skiing downward, Alex went back to Trout Lake to seek help.
The sheriff's office contacted a search and rescue team who then sent ski patrollers, a helicopter, and a trained avalanche dog.
Alex believed his brother to be dead, but little did he know that Brian was buried deep in the snow 1000 feet away from the slide.
During the search, the dispatchers received a phone call from a mobile belonging to Brian. While the rescue team could hear breathing, they could not establish any other communication with him.
Brian, however, was able to pull himself out from the snow and luckily survived the avalanche as he landed on his back despite being carried nearly 1000 feet down the mountains.
With his face buried in snow, Brian managed to get himself out in 15 minutes and started the search for Alex, who he thought was killed by the avalanche.
After searching over an hour to no avail, Brian then went down towards Ophir at 2pm. The rescue team took him to Telluride Medical Center for treatment. Brian faced non-life-threatening injuries. He is expected to survive the injuries.
Photo: Strange Ones | Flickr