A video was posted to Instagram back in May 2021, and it’s now resurfaced to cause some major disagreements over the actions of this particular skier triggering an avalanche.
In the viral clip, a skier named Victor Galuchot stands at the top of a mountain, almost hanging off a cliff face. On him, he wears a backpack with a GoPro and skis. Using his pole and his skis, he takes a few swipes at a chunk of snow below him, triggering a massive avalanche.
The cascading snow breaks off like glass shards shattering. The snow breaks in chunks and starts sliding down the mountain, with gusts of powder blown into the air. Another skier films the encounter, following the entire mass of snow down the mountain until the avalanche disappears from sight. The conditions look spectacular in what appears to be the French Alps. You can watch the incredible clip below.
Galuchot took to his Instagram caption to explain the practice. In his caption, he writes that he was trying to see if the snow was safe enough to travel on. He writes that “one of the greatest qualities of a mountaineer is observation.”
However, other commenters took issue with his actions, saying that the man-made avalanche could be dangerous for others down the slope.
Commenters Take Issue with Skier Causing Avalanche
“Having seen this video posted and reposted again and again across many skiing sites, it makes me sick to remember my friend who was buried and nearly died near Val d’Isère underneath an #avalanche caused by a reckless back-country skier many metres above,” the upset commenter wrote. They concluded their message with the words: “Please think before posting mindless stupidity!!”
Another person took issue with the video, letting Galuchot know in the comments. “If the goal is to live, suggest you review basic avalanche safety again for at least few hours if not longer, just a thought.”
However, Galuchot himself responded to the commenter, apologizing but also defending himself. “I’m sorry that people repost it without my explanation and I’m sorry for your friend. But if you take time to read what I said you’ll see that this is a professional move that can save lives and not mindless stupidity.”
According to his Instagram bio, Victor Galuchot is sponsored by multiple skiing companies, including Salomon Free Ski. In addition to skiing, the athlete posts videos of him free-diving, paragliding, and surfing.
Many of his videos are shared from first-person POV. In one video, the pro skier uses a GoPro to film his acrobatic stunts, including a flip. He builds up a nice head of steam before launching into the flip. Then, he mounts with a clean landing and sweeps down the rest of the mountain. Galuchot celebrates as he stops and meets a member of his team.