Elisabeth Malloy, a 43-year-old Utah woman who survived being buried in an avalanche says she felt a `strange serenity’ under the snow before she fell unconscious. she incurred frost bite in her toes and fingers, and lived to tell about it. She is alive thanks to her boyfriend, a skier that wandered by, and rescue teams.
She and her ski partner boyfriend, 30-year-old Adam Morrey, spoke at length during a press conference Wednesday afternoon at University Hospital in Salt Lake City. They said after they triggered and were engulfed by a 700-foot wide blanket of snow they were lucky to be alive.
Malloy, a pediatric nurse, reported that it felt like a water slide as she slid face-down, says the Huffington Post:
“It was surreal, as quiet and as embryonic without being water that I could imagine. I had this feeling that I was going to be fine.”
Morrey, who had skied about 10-15 feet downhill before being overcome by the snow, emerged with his head and chest in open air. After Malloy failed to answer his calls, he fought his way out of the snow and began searching for her. Morrey eventually found Malloy using avalanche rescue beacons they were both wearing.
Another skier came by and aided the two down the mountain. Morrey and the other man were on skis and Malloy was on a plastic bag with one ski boot. After calling to initiate a rescue, the man helped down until a rescue helicopter spotted them, according to FOX News.
Morrey said he and his girlfriend both have years of experience in backcountry skiing, and were both aware of the danger. They had just gotten reckless. Morrey stated:
“Our judgment was overwhelmed by the pursuit of having more fun and skiing the steeper slopes and the great Utah powder.”
Malloy said she fully intends to go back and keep skiing after this:
“It’s who I am. It’s not about the powder turns, it’s about the mountains. It’s about the hiking, it’s about the experience for me. I enjoy being in the mountains, I love snow. I’ve always considered myself a mountain goat.”
The danger is part of the fun, as any thrill-seeker will tell you.