Snowboarder saved from being buried alive in viral video -- and his rescuer -- speak out on ordeal staff KTRK logo
Friday, March 31, 2023
Snowboarder saved from suffocating in viral video speaks out on ordeal
A snowboarder who nearly died after being buried alive in snow -- and his rescuer -- are speaking out on the ordeal.

A snowboarder and skier who were in the viral video showing the snowboarder being saved from suffocating in a heavy pile of snow by the skier are speaking out about their experience with Eyewitness News.

The video shows the skier quickly digging out the face of the snowboarder so he can breathe before digging out the rest of his submerged, upside down body.

Now, the two have reunited and are providing more details on the horrifying experience that occurred on Mount Baker in Washington state.

Francis Zuber, the hero skier who saved the snowboarder, Ian Steger, shared the moment he noticed something was off.

"I caught this little flash of red out of the corner of my eye," said Zuber. "And I knew it was kind of a weird thing to see because we're out of bounds. I knew something was wrong. You know, I yelled up to him, and no response."

Steger said that he heard none of what Zuber was saying when he approached, all he could hear was his own breathing.

"You can see in that video that Francis was asking if I was okay," said Steger. "He was letting me know he was coming up to me. I didn't hear any of that. It was complete darkness. I could only hear, you know, the sound of my own breathing."

Steger said he was unsure if he would make it out of the snow alive, leaving him with some terrifying thoughts and a sense of gratitude to have made it out in good shape.

"One of the things that I was thinking about while I was down there was like, wow, like, I'm going to die down here and I'm not going to be able to, you know, tell my fiancee how much I love her," Steger said.

Experts say there was no way for Steger to get out of the snow himself and that he could have died while submerged in the snow.

The incident is a great reminder to always ski with a partner and keep them in sight.