Climber hangs on with ice axe as an avalanche rushes around him

Websites detailing "The Ribbon", an ice climb route that occasionally forms at Ouray, Colorado, emphasize the high potential for avalanche. Watching the snow cascade over Leland Nisky in the video below underscores the danger and the beauty found at the razor-thin edge of survival.

Liba Kopeckova at Summit Post points out that:

"The locals say that: "Ouray is proof that God is an ice climber." I believe that this route confirms the statement."

Of the stretch of ice that Leland Nisky is attempting to climb in the video, Matt Ledges at Mountain Project says:

"This will set up a final 170 foot pitch, topping out at the end of the long snow filled gully visible from the road. Otherwise, P2 will take you past this second vertical step for a screw belay then a shorter WI3+ third pitch to finish. If you don't want to risk your life for a couple hundred feet of snow covered WI 2 ice, call it a day."

Leland Nisky, at Instagram:

This was probably one of the most terrifying experiences I've had while solo climbing. Took absolutely every ounce of strength I could muster to keep holding onto my tools. …

I was on edge about posting this to social media, but it seemed too insane that I had caught it on camera to not. Grateful for years of experience and training in stressful situations to keep me calm and allow me to make it through this freak situation and get back home safe.

There's video of Leland Nisky's descent after the avalanche.

A lot of people asked how that video ended and how I escaped the avalanche, so I thought I'd post the last bit of the video. … Once the two minutes or so of heavy snow dissipated, I looked around and realized I had climbed about 10' past the anchor. I moved up against the wall and climbed down to reach the anchor. You can see me attach myself with a pre-tied sling on my harness. I shut the video off shortly after, but proceeded to take a skinny rope out of my backpack and rappel off the anchor. I made two full length 60m rappels down to the ground off of bolted anchors.