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Couple Outruns Avalanche at Washington Ice Caves — and Gets It On Camera

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A pair of hikers hoping to get a close-up view of the stunning Big Four Ice Caves in Washington state wound up having to run for their lives in a frightening ordeal they managed to catch on camera.

When a sudden avalanche Saturday afternoon nearly trapped Colby Dotson and his girlfriend Ashley Bechard under a mountain of snow, the young couple scrambled for survival, reported NBC Seattle affiliate KING5.

"It was like a huge cloud of dust coming down, and I turn around and Ashley was like 30 feet running already," Dotson said.

The pair had ignored signs warning to stay on the trails in order to explore the inside of the ice caves, located north of Seattle in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. They were only a few feet from the entrance when Bechard said she heard a rumbling noise.

"I heard something that sounded like a plane. No question in my mind, I just ran. I was like, 'That's an avalanche,' and I ran," she told KING5.

Cellphone footage shows the avalanche in action. The couple said there were about a dozen others in the vicinity who ended up running. Two people had been inside the caves during the rockslide, but were able to get out, according to the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office. No injuries were reported.

"I would like to go again," Dotson said, "but to keep some space between the caves and myself."

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— Erik Ortiz

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