Buried Alive

KS Brooks
7 min readFeb 23, 2021

By K. S. Brooks / Silverado Express Newspaper

My rescuer, Carmella of Columbia Basin Search Dogs. Photo by K.S. Brooks

It’s white, but it’s dark. Your arms are pinned. You can’t move your legs. Are you up or down? You can’t tell. Muffled voices filter down through the packed snow, at least you think that. Do they know you’re there? You want to scream, but you don’t want to waste precious air. Terror overrules logic, so you scream bloody murder. Your heart is pounding in your ears so loudly that you’re not sure you’ll be able to hear anyone answer you. Tears pour down your face.

You jerk when something pokes you. “I’m here!” you yell.

“He’s alive!” you hear.

The sound of shovels cutting into the snow brings even more tears. “Hold on, we’re coming! Hang in there!” they call out to you.

Suddenly, it gets lighter. Death won’t take you today.

You realize, though, if you hadn’t been wearing a transceiver and been skiing with friends, you would probably already be dead.

People don’t seem to take avalanche or tree-well risk too seriously, despite the fact that in North America, 42 people on average each year are killed in avalanches and hundreds more are injured per KBYG.org. And, after talking to experts and watching chilling videos on YouTube of people who have been victims (just Google “tree well victims”), I’ve decided that it pays to be…



KS Brooks

Award-winning novelist and photographer. Fearless leader of IndiesUnlimited. Wilderness hermit, intrepid road warrior. Gluten-free guru. Slightly opinionated.