One of the world's most acclaimed big-mountain skiers took a 1,000-foot plunge down an Alaska mountain side last spring — and somehow walked away without any major injuries.
Angel Collinson, a 26-year-old skier from Utah, was filming for Teton Gravity Research's film "Paradise Waits" last spring when her epic fall was filmed in Alaska's Neacola Mountains, southwest of Anchorage.
"The fall was absolutely terrifying — without question. You have no idea what you are going to tumble over and there is basically nothing you can do but hang on," Collinson said in a release.
She had decided to ski the couloir just for fun. But she was having an off day, she later told an audience at the International Pro Riders' Workshop. "I think I could have pulled it off in a different circumstance," she said.
"It's hard to know ... that feeling in your gut, of like, when you're just like a little bit nervous and when you really just don't feel like you're on," she told the audience.
She had just started the run when she hit a patch of icy, chunky snow, which pushed her off balance, and she started to tumble down the mountain, Collinson told Good Morning America earlier this week.
"I covered my face and protected my head with my arms and just kind of held on until I stopped," she told the show.
"I'm OK, I'm OK," she says in the video after stopping.
"I got really lucky," she said later at the Pro Riders' Workshop. She jammed two fingers and lost the contents of her pack as it opened up in the fall, but "other than that, I was totally fine."
"It just goes to show in these environments, yeah maybe 99 times out of 100, you're fine, you can carve through that stuff, but if something does go wrong, it's like, more high consequence," Collinson told the audience.
The video was released as part of Teton Gravity Research's Safety Week, featuring seven videos discussing backcountry sport safety.
Amazingly, this wasn't the only time a skier would survive a major fall in the Neacola Mountains while filming "Paradise Waits." Canadian skier Ian McIntosh tumbled 1,600 feet in a video released in November 2015.
Learn more about Collinson in this 2014 video shot in Juneau, Alaska, where she shreds steep mountainsides with Sage Cattabriga-Alosa, Ian McIntosh, and Dana Flahr.
Alaska Dispatch Publishing