Mac Jacobson, an experienced snowboarder, was “sending” a 30-foot cliff at Squaw Valley Ski Resort when the maneuver went horribly wrong.
Jacobson told Caters News that he “clipped the back heel on the way off” and “overcorrected” and began “supermanning.”
“As soon as I realized I was going to dive headfirst into the snow bank, I tried to flip onto my back but could not quite make it, landing directly onto the back of my neck and plunging straight into the snow,” he said.
What happened next was captured by his friend Stephen on a GoPro helmet cam. Caters News has the exclusive footage of the dramatic rescue:
Stephen had been flagged down by a couple of passing skiers who noticed the snowboard, otherwise the ultimate result could have been tragic.
Only Jacobson’s still attached snowboard was visible while the rest of him was encased in snow like cement.
“Those first three minutes were pure terror,” he told Caters, adding that he struggled to breath and sat patiently for help.
“I knew that if I began to panic then my chest cavity would expand and breathing would become more and more difficult. In the pin-drop silence under the snow, the only thing I could think of was to calm myself down and hope for a miracle.
“I tried to yell and yell but nobody could hear me. Then after a few minutes, I felt someone grabbing my foot and knew that I would get out.”
First, an opening was made for his face so he could breathe, then his snowboard was removed. Next, Stephen proceeded to dig him out.
Caters confirmed to GrindTV that the incident occurred Feb. 4 at the popular Northern California ski resort, which had just received 6 to 21 inches of snow in the previous 24 hours.
“Oh my God, I have never seen something like that in my life,” one of the rescuers can be heard saying in the video after the snowboarder was freed.
A relieved Jacobson told Caters, “I feel extremely fortunate to come out alive without any injuries.”