Swedish skier, Sverre Liliequist, is a 40 year-old who only recently hit the big time with an amazing avalanche skiing feat. He’s been skiing in and around Europe since the calendar turned to the 21st century, but has gone largely unnoticed by all but the most hardcore downhill ski aficionados. That’s a shame too because since he won the Scandinavian Freeskiing Championships way back in 1998, he’s been sculpting moutains all over the world. That’s a decade plus of high level skiing, which is rare in its own right. But Liliequist’s largely unnoticed career has probably met its end. His largely anonymous existence was changed recently when a video of him skiing the second run at the Swatch Skiers Cup went viral. The video showed the non-skiing world how daring and talented the 40 year-old has always been, when he beat an avalanche down the hill, and courageously back-flipped as the front of the cascading snow nipped his skis from behind.
Liliequist’s run starts out innocently enough, with him carving down the mountain on his skis in both the uncharted snow and the edges of the already trampled flakes. Sverre’s run precipitated a surprise avalanche, or as a Cup representative told the Planet Ski, a serious “windslab.”
With a helicopter filming the run, you can see the beginnings of the avalanche around the 50 second mark of the video. All the fresh powder Liliequist had sliced through earlier in his run had built up enough momentum for the snow to start trailing him. Not long after, around 57 seconds into the video, as the avalanche is about to engulf his solitary figure on the mountain, Liliequist came to a slight ledge and executed a near perfect backflip right as the trailing cloud of white appears to catch him. It didn’t, and he coasted to the finish line still upright.
His extraordinary run helped his European teammates defeat their American counterparts in the Ryder-Cup style event. This righteous run down the mountain solidified Sverre’s Adrenalist legacy in the event’s history.
Looking for more avalanche footage? Check out some of the most insane avalanche videos we could find.