Matt and Michael Walsh — an avid snowboarders. So, being at an altitude of fifteen hundred meters, where on all sides fanning the Blizzard, they decided that it was the perfect place and weather for snowboarding. The brothers had hoped to spend the day, but soon they were praying that at least his experience.
“Suddenly everything was in motion — the ledge and all around. By this time I had already lost sight of Matt. A cloud of snow, it was so dense that I didn’t see your own hand in front of your face. I thought that brother definitely died. It seemed impossible that I could find,” recalls Michael Walsh.
Michael Walsh and his younger brother Matt decided that he had found the perfect place for snowboarding in Wyoming. In a Cup-shaped recess of the mountain slope was an overhanging snow Bank and deep snow. Car Michael, they climbed the steep point, not even thinking about the danger of avalanches.
“In fact, it’s just a rock, snowy rock, which is blown by the winds. The wind blows and causes more and more snow, so there will be a huge ledge. We settled at the edge. Initially we planned to go down with him at the same time. I don’t know why I changed the plan. Matt was wearing a seat belt, and I still continued to wear seat belts. And then I looked at him and said, “Hey, Matt, what are you waiting for?” — says Michael.
His brother Matt jumped off the ledge and landed on the slope below, triggering a huge avalanche.
“And then I heard a crack from all sides. The bowl broke. It sound like coming at me a freight train,” recalls Michael.
Matt managed to get down the mountain for hundreds of meters, and there he was overtaken by an avalanche. Behind it hit the wall of snow, buried under three feet of heavy compacted snow. Michael was helpless in front of him.
“As soon as the snow cloud cleared, I began to look for my brother, but not seen a trace. Nothing. There was just rocks, dirt and grass — as if it were ripped from the ground, so she was on top of the snow. He disappeared literally before my eyes, and I could do nothing to help him. It was very painful,” continues Michael.
Michael had to decide either to run to the car to call search and rescue service, or to try to find her brother.
“If I went first and began to inspect the whole place, I would have not been able to independently climb the mountain to invoke the search and rescue team. So I just cried out to God and said, “Lord, what do I do?” And I heard Him as loud as I hear you now: “Find your brother”. I have never heard that God so spoke to me! I’m absolutely shocked!” he says.
Michael ran down the slope, frantically shouting his brother’s name.
“I got to where there was a collapse, and saw that something was wrong. There was no sign of Matt. I was looking for his cap, the tip of his snowboard in hand — anything that would stick out of the snow. Nothing. And then I started to doubt myself: is it really God told me to go find my brother? I thought I will not be able to find him. There was no evidence, nothing. And then I came to that anyway. Yes, I know it sounds awful, but I really didn’t see anything. I have never seen anything that could point him out,” he says.
Matt lay deep under heavy snow, so I couldn’t move. It finished the air and all hope.
“When I realized that buried and can’t move, it was clear to me that I will die. I refused any attempts to escape. I knew I was going to die soon,” recalls surviving snowboarder.
But, he said, as he lay there praying, he felt God’s presence.
“And at that moment I felt an amazing peace. I can say that at that moment the Lord was with me. So I was ready. I know where to go. I was not afraid,” he continues.
And then Matt heard how God spoke to him and reminded of the prophecy given to his mother when she almost had a miscarriage with him: this child will not die, but live, and God will work through his life great things.
“When the Lord spoke to me, I had hope. I thought, okay, so, not the end! He’s going to save me. He’ll get me out of here. This is not the end. He still has a plan and purpose for my life,” says Matt Walsh.
Matt says that the hope that prompted him to action. His face formed an air pocket and he was able to dig through the snow and stick out one hand out. At the same time, Michael was standing directly over him, not knowing his brother’s whereabouts.
“I was ready to fall to my knees, losing all hope to find him. So I just shouted, “Matt!”. But when the wind is blowing at a speed of 90 kilometers per hour, and you wearing hat and hood, then you’re not very good at listening to yourself. All around was dead silence. And suddenly I hear: “Mike, I’m fine!” Of course, I could not hear because of the strong wind. But I turned, took a step back and look at my left leg, just at the bottom, a hole in the snow the size of a Golf ball. I began frantically digging. I dug where-that half a meter, when suddenly thought: are you crazy? It can’t be him. But I just kept digging. I dug a little bit deeper and suddenly I saw the logo on his jacket that I bought him the week before! Michael says. And I get to his face. In his face I saw that he was still alive. I cried like a baby. I was so happy, but at the same time I was really scared”.
The next half hour Michael had dug Matt out of what could become his snowy grave. According to the brothers, they made it out alive only by the grace of God.
“God led me right to the place where was Matt. I didn’t know where he was. I had no idea in which direction he was coming from, where he was taken. But God brought me right to the spot directly above him. It was an accident. Everything fell into place! Just perfect. God held me there, put me there and ran my hand while I was digging. So He saved the life of me and my brother”, says Michael Walsh.
“I think I survived because God has a great plan for my life. He made me something great. I don’t think He could afford all these plans to fail due to the avalanche. I guess it was not His will. Of course, I am very grateful to God that He saved me in a way. He has made it so that we both safely got out of there,” says Matt.
“Undoubtedly, what happened, was the worst thing that ever happened to me in life. It was awful to lose sight of my best friend and to think that he was dead, and there is no way that I can find it. But then the Lord just came to me there, on the mountain, and was with me there all the time. He was right there. And He hears your prayers in difficult times,” says the brother miraculously rescued snowboarder Michael Walsh.