Entombed in snow for more than three hours, unable to wiggle even a finger, Alex White felt his life slipping away. He thought of his family. His friend somewhere nearby and likely in the same trouble. His girlfriend. His studies.
"The last thing I remember thinking was that I was going to die there, honestly," he said. "And aside from a few bursts of panic, it was really kind of peaceful."
March 2 was a cloudless Saturday, as pals White, Joe Philpott, Kylie Nulty and Toby Kraft geared up for backcountry turns on Cameron Pass in northern Colorado.
White, a 24-year-old first-year University of Colorado law student, was riding a new pair of Line Motherships, a wide ski built for powder. Philpott, a 27-year-old banjo-plucking poet, artist and smokejumper, had a new pair of Anvil skis. He designed the graphics on the skis that were forged by his big brother Jim, who founded Anvil in Durango, their hometown.a