avalanche video tian shan
(Photo/screen capture courtesy Harry Shimmin)

Hiker Films Massive Glacier Collapse in Kyrgyzstan

If you have avalanche footie more epic than this, we want to see it. (But we doubt you do.)

Generally, if you experience a close enough encounter with an avalanche to film it from inside, you’re not filming — you’re doing whatever you can to get out of it alive.

For one hiker in Kyrgyzstan’s Tian Shan Mountains, the best chance at safety meant staying put. Keeping the camera rolling and the angle stable appears to have come naturally.

Harry Shimmin posted the most radical avalanche footage we’ve ever seen over the weekend. On a guided tour of the Tian Shan, his group of 10 hikers “heard the sound of deep ice cracking” above.

Soon a massive cloud of ice, rock, and snow began cascading from a nearby glacier. According to Shimmin, he took stock of his surroundings and realized the safest thing he could do was stay where he was.

The resulting images speak for themselves, and Shimmin’s report fills in the rest of the details. Spoiler alert: No one died, but the group’s margin for survival was only a few minutes wide. Watch it here.


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A post shared by Harry Shimmin (@harryshimmin)

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Sam Anderson

Sam has roamed the American continent to follow adventures, explore natural wonders, and find good stories. After going to college to be a writer, he got distracted (or saved) by rock climbing and spent most of the next decade on the road, supporting himself with trade work. He's had addresses in the Adirondack Mountains, Las Vegas, and somehow Kansas, but his heart belongs in the Texas hill country.