Remember in the Disney movie "Frozen," when Anna and Kristoff jump off a 200-foot cliff and land without a scratch? Thanks to the fresh powder, it was like "landing on a pillow." Only in an animated movie could that actually be true -- right? Apparently not. Just ask skier Devin Stratton.
For many extreme skiers, there's nothing better than finding fresh powder in backcountry. And that is exactly what Stratton was hoping to find on his Utah ski day with a buddy. Little did he realize that fresh powder would be a literal lifesaver. Well, that, and his backpack and helmet.
As seen in the GoPro video attached to Stratton's helmet, the slope looks like your generic backcountry ski run. Next thing you know, it drops off a 150-foot cliff.
"I immediately thought about my cousin, who was [left a] quadriplegic from a car accident and thought, 'I'm gonna be paralyzed,'" Stratton told the Washington Post on Wednesday. "And then when I saw how big the cliff was when I was going over the edge, I thought I was dead for sure."
"I [prayed] in my head in midair," Stratton added. "It doesn't sound like it in the raw footage, because I'm cussing. But in my head, I was praying."
The video is enough to make your stomach drop. Stratton came out of the mess without a scratch, but he did break his helmet and some of his gear when he crashed through the icy layer over the powder. Needless to say, when he first hit the ground, it took him a few seconds to realize he was actually alive. Once he did, he yelled up to his buddy so he would miss the cliff. Next thing, his buddy was digging Stratton out of the mess.
"We spent nearly five hours where I landed, digging, looking for one of my skis. And every time I looked up at the cliff, I felt sick to my stomach," he said. "I'm super-lucky to be alive, or at least not hurt ... not even a scratch or a bruise."
-- Courtney Schellin