Skiers thought they were safe in their chair-lift perches as they watched a powerful avalanche rumble through a French ski resort near Grenoble—until snow began to bury the tips of their skis. No injuries were reported, but several skiers on higher ground were left dangling from lifts—and had to be winched to safety by helicopter—after the snow surged over chairs and cables, and knocked down pylons.
"There was the risk of another avalanche, so we wanted to avoid bringing people down to the ground to stop them being swept away by another avalanche," said an Alps rescue commander. One amateur video captures the scene from a chair lift as a woman cries "Ohlalalala!" and then: "We're going to die!" Skiers, and video, survived. (Read more avalanche stories.)