Here’s how this French freeride benchmark survived an avalanche

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In 2017, Mickaël Bimboes was surprised by an avalanche in the middle of an off-piste session. Trapped by the snow and plunged into darkness, the man was finally saved by his friends. The skier recounted his experience and the least we can say is that it is rather cold in the back!

Prisoner as in a sarcophagus

A awesome video currently circulating on Facebook (see end of article), published by freeride skier Mickaël Bimboes. In fact, the images date from 2017, showing a session whose outcome was on the verge of turning into drama. The skier and two of his friends hurtle down a slope off-piste near Courchevel when it finds itself in the middle of a landslide. Quickly, an avalanche takes shape and Mickaël Bimboes finds himself tossed about in all directions without being able to control anything. When the movement stops, the man finds himself in the dark with the impossibility of moving. In an article published by Point a few months after the incident, he said he had the impression of having been locked in a sarcophagus. Creepy.

Mickaël Bimboes indicated that his main objective was to simply manage to breathe. When the avalanche stopped moving, his lungs were swollen. He was therefore able to exhale and then inhale again. Otherwise, just a few centimeters separated it from the surface. He was therefore able to make small movements.

Credits: Mickaël Bimboes Winteractivity / Facebook

Images that are more traumatic for the skier

The next goal? Hold. Indeed, his two friends do their best to locate him. Only here, time flies quickly. Three minutes after being trapped, the skier begins suddenly breathing very hard before passing out, due to lack of oxygen. The person concerned recalled not having felt any particular pain, as in the case of vagal shock. When his friends find him – thanks to his GoPro – and finish digging to reveal his face, the freerider takes two deep breaths of air before resuming his speech. He will later indicate that he felt like he woke up like after a dream.

Mickaël Bimboes explained not having succumbed to stress or panic. No breakage either in terms of members. Nevertheless, the skier knew full well that he could not get by without the help of his friends. He will also confide that reviewing the images of the video was a more difficult experience than having experienced the accident live.

Since 2013, Mickaël Bimboes has had a series of competitions, with participation in the Freeride World Tour, the flagship event of the discipline. At the end of the 2019 season at the age of 33, he announced want to stop his career. From now on, he devotes himself among other things to another of his passions: drones.

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