Hmmmmm.... “Instead of going around the rock in the snow, I decided to go up the rock face,” Yan says. “I made a lot of bad decisions that day and I don’t think I was thinking straight.”
Yan pulled out his rappelling gear and began climbing the rock. When he was about 20-25 feet up, his rappel anchor suddenly broke from the rock and Yan went tumbling to the ground below.
“It happened so fast and once I hit the ground, I ended up triggering an avalanche,” he recalls. “Then I started to slide another 200 or something feet and I became tangled up in all my gear. It was really bad.”
Yan was somehow able to stop himself as the snow continued to slide around him. He was buried up to his neck and felt like he was suffocating. He did have an ice ax but it was in his backpack, which was buried somewhere in the avalanche.