Wild ride: BC snowboarder caught in avalanche

An early birthday present has come to the rescue of an Australian snowboarder, whose remarkable ride down a Canadian hillside was eased by his new inflatable avalanche backpack. And because he filmed the whole thing, we can now all experience what it's like to be right smack in the middle of this frightening phenomenon.

Tom Oye posted a terrifying helmet-cam video of his brush with death in the Brandywine area of Whistler, British Columbia, on his Facebook page, where it has more than 5.6 million views and more than 45,000 shares.

During the terrifying fall, Mr Oye inflates his backpack, specifically created to keep skiers and snowboarders near the surface in an avalanche.

In the video, 29-year-old Tom Oye starts at the top of the slope, and within seconds is carried away by an overwhelming amount of snow.

Snowboarder loses control in Whistler avalanche
FACEBOOK SCARY Snowboarder Tom loses control as the snow falls away beneath him

His boss in Whistler said he would pass on Postmedia's request for comment to Oye, saying: "He will contact you if he's interested".

He said: "You could just see him sort of on the surface".

There are a variety of airbag backpacks and avalanche beacons available for fans of snow adventures. It also automatically deflates after 3 minutes to give wearers an air pocket in case they're buried. The Black Diamond Halo 28 JetForce Backpack is shown on Backcountry.com for $1,099.

Daily conditions on the slopes can be found on the Avalanche Canada website.

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