Hiker 'Happy to Be Alive' After Filming Dramatic Close Encounter with Ice Avalanche  

Harry Shimmin was one of the 10 hikers to survive the deadly incident in the remote countryside of Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia

A group of hikers is feeling "lucky" after surviving an avalanche in the Tian Shan mountains of Kyrgyzstan on July 8.

Harry Shimmin, one of 10 people on a guided tour of the remote region in Central Asia, took to Instagram to share the ordeal the hikers endured when a vast wall of ice suddenly collapsed on a nearby peak and raced towards them through an adjoining valley.

"We'd just reached the highest point in the trek and I separated from the group to take pictures on top of a hill/cliff edge," Shimmin wrote on Instagram over the weekend in his first post recounting what the group of "9 Brits and 1 American" witnessed.

Caught in an Avalanche in Kyrgyzstan (Everyone Survived)
The ice avalanche hurtles towards Harry Shimmin. ViralHog

"While I was taking pictures I heard the sound of deep ice cracking behind me," he added. "This is where the video starts."

The footage then shows an enormous white wave rushing down the mountain towards him, flowing over everything in its path.

"Oh god, oh dear god," Shimmin can be heard saying as the avalanche draws closer and ultimately envelops him in a cloud of ice.

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"I'd been there for a few minutes already so I knew there was a spot for shelter right next to me," Shimmin added.

Caught in an Avalanche in Kyrgyzstan (Everyone Survived)
The moment the ice avalanche started moving. ViralHog

"Yes I know it would have been safer moving to the shelter straight away. I'm very aware that I took a big risk," he continued. "I felt in control, but regardless, when the snow started coming over and it got dark/harder to breath, I was bricking it and thought I might die.

"Behind the rock it was like being inside a blizzard," said Shimmin. "Once it was over the adrenaline rush hit me hard. I was only covered in a small layer of snow, without a scratch. I felt giddy. I knew the rest of the group was further away from the avalanche so should be okay."

When Shimmin finally found the rest of his group he discovered they were also all safe though one woman had "cut her knee quite badly" and another had fallen off of a horse and had "light bruising."

"The whole group was laughing and crying, happy to be alive (including the girl who cut her knee)," he posted. "It was only later we realized just how lucky we'd been. If we had walked 5 minutes further on our trek, we would all be dead.

"We traversed it (the avalanche) afterwards, walking among massive ice boulders and rocks that had been thrown much further than we could have run, even if we acted immediately," he added.

In a follow-up post Shimmin shared more videos and still images from what he called "one of the craziest experiences" of his life.

"I won't lie," he wrote in the follow-up post. "It was harrowing to walk through the aftermath of where we would have been if we were 5 minutes quicker."

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