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Skier buried in avalanche for 8 hours grateful for heroic rescue

Posted at 12:02 PM, Dec 20, 2022

MILLCREEK, Utah (KSTU)— Travis Haussener is thankful to be alive.

Last week, he was backcountry skiing in Utah on what he thought was stable snow when he suddenly realized he was in danger.

“I heard the big 'wumpf,' felt like the ground shake, and then all of a sudden there's this wall of snow coming down on me that envelops me," said Haussener. "And then I thought, that was it. I thought, you know, my life was over.”

Using his one free arm, Haussener desperately tried digging himself out.

“In between digs, I started yelling for help," he said. "In, you know, the hopes of some miracle.”

Miraculously, an off-duty Unified Fire EMT heard his cries and called in search and rescue teams.

“I was [like], you know, 'Guys, you gotta get me down or I'm gonna die up here,'" said Haussener.

It took eight hours to get Haussener off the mountain.

Nursing a hole in his lung, broken ribs and a dislocated shoulder, Haussener wishes he had paid more attention to the snow.

“I want to keep being in the mountains, keep doing what I love," he said. "I'll be maybe a little bit more careful next time."

This story was originally reported by Jenna Bree on