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Man survives skiing off 150-foot cliff

30 January 2017 08:04

Mr Stretton caught the ordeal on his GoPro camera

Mr Stretton caught the ordeal on his GoPro camera

An avid winter sports enthusiast had his life saved by a rucksack when he accidentally skied off a 150-foot cliff.

Devin Stratton, 25, captured the ordeal on a GoPro camera, posting the video to social media, which has now gone viral.

A backpack and two and a half feet of snow broke the fall of the avid skier, who dropped 150-feet down the unmarked cliff at the Wasatch Range in Utah.

Speaking to the Washington Post, Mr Stratton said: "I immediately thought about my cousin who is quadriplegic from a car accident and thought, 'I'm gonna be paralysed'. And then when I saw how big the cliff was when I was going over the edge, I thought I was dead for sure."

'One of the most terrifying moments'

It took Mr Stratton a few seconds to realise he was actually alive, he told the newspaper.

Once coming round, he began yelling to his friend to beware of the edge. He recalls being relieved when his friend approached on foot to help.

"Every time I looked up at the cliff, I felt sick to my stomach. I'm super lucky to be alive, or at least not hurt ... Not even a scratch or a bruise."

Anyone planning on hitting the slopes should take out specialised winter sports insurance.

Preparation for danger

Mr Stratton says he usually packs avalanche safety equipment, along with an ice axe and a spade.

However, recounting the ordeal, the fishing instructor said: "It's not just avalanches you're worried about."

Mr Stratton has been a keen skier since he was 14-years-old and has no plans to take a break from the sport. He has already been skiing three times since the accident last week and has booked to return to the Utah slopes.

"If I'm unfamiliar with the territory, I'm going to go slow until I know it really well," he said.