While “Two Italians at the top of a couloir” might sound like the beginning of a particularly bad joke, it’s in fact the prelude to “and then a massive powder avalanche funnels over the ridge and almost kills them.” Close. Call.
For those wondering, this was in the Canale Holzer – a pretty gnarly gulley (between 40-50 degrees of steepness) in the Italian Dolomites. You need to abseil at one point, which it seems these dudes were setting up for as the avalanche entered stage right. We’re betting the remainder of the descent was even more ring-quivering than usual.