Runner's video records avalanche barrelling toward him at Lake Louise
'As it was coming closer and closer, I thought, oh, I'd better run'
Bryon Howard was out for a run at Lake Louise, Alta., at around 5 p.m. Friday, when he heard a boom behind him.
"I looked over my shoulder, I kind of heard something, and there was an avalanche heading my way," he said.
Howard was running along Lakeshore Trail, with his wife, daughter and son far back on the trail behind him and out of the avalanche's path.
"I felt as if there was no way that avalanche can get me, because you know, it has to come off the side of the mountain onto the lake on the other side — which is about 100 metres from where I am … but as it was coming closer and closer I thought, oh, I'd better run."
He had just taken out his camera to capture a video of the beautiful scenery on his run — instead, his video shows the runner pick up his pace before being enveloped by a cloud of snow.
Watch the close call with the avalanche below:
"Wild," he says, gasping for breath, as he turns the camera to show the snow behind him in the video.
His son, Jacob, said he was back near the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise when he heard the sound. Initially, he thought it was a controlled avalanche, and then realized it wasn't.
"I heard this huge cracking sound and then watched the avalanche fall down and was like, 'Oh no, I hope my parents aren't under there," he said. "It was crazy. It just kind of filled the area with snow."
Jacob said once the snow settled, he realized his parents should have been well out of harm's way, so he snapped some photos and ran back to the chateau to wait for their return.
"Thanks, Jacob, for your concern," his dad interjected with a laugh.
Howard said that while he spends a fair amount of time in the backcountry, he's never experienced anything like this before.
"I do have a new appreciation for … how quickly it can come upon you and how unexpectedly it can come," he said, adding that he's going to continue to be cautious.
He's reported the incident to Avalanche Canada.
The agency's avalanche bulletin stated there was moderate danger along the treeline on Sunday, with considerable danger at higher elevations.