There's No Waiting For Friends on Powder Days

British Skier Rhianna Shaw Survives Avalanche In Austria

Rhianna Shaw, 23. Picture courtesy of

Rhianna Shaw, 23, defied the odds after being buried under a wall of snow. The skiing enthusiast, from Chichester in West Sussex, was doing a ski season in St Anton, Austria and collided with a friend while enjoying a powder day off piste. She lost both her skis which caused a little movement in the snow and, after the rest of their group followed up, a huge ledge dislodged and carried her 150m down the slope and entombed her in several feet of snow.

She was buried for around 15 minutes before her friends managed to dig her out and resuscitate her using CPR. Medics say she had a very lucky escape as there is only a 6% chance of resuscitation once someone has been buried in snow for over 8 minutes.

Ms Shaw said “I was absolutely frozen and I couldn’t move an inch. I could just about make out which way was up as a little bit of light was coming through and I could hear faint sounds.

“They thought I might have skied off and I could hear my mobile ringing in my pocket but I couldn’t answer it. It was absolutely terrifying.

“I couldn’t move, my arms were frozen. The most I could do was shriek, but they couldn’t hear me. I tried not to panic.”

Ms Shaw was put on a drip and airlifted to hospital immediately after the accident which happened last Thursday. She is recovering well but says she won’t be going off piste again in a hurry.

This a video of a previous avalanche in St Anton.


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