Only a few inches were separating a snowboarder from falling off a cliff in the Russian city of Belgorod, some 25 miles from the Ukrainian border.
The snowboarder, who didn’t identify himself, wanted to shred the slopes of the chalk mountains in the region. He and his friend climbed up the west side of a chalk mountain, walked about 600-1000 feet, and decided to ride down the southern slope.
“[I]t seemed more interesting and a bit longer,” the snowboarder wrote in the description of a video posted to Youtube channel Auto ShelbY on Thursday, March 8.
The video starts with the man at the edge of a slope, going slowly down. He starts carefully, sliding down bit by bit to what seems to be a steeper slope.
Then he begins to pick up speed. But just as he’s getting to the edge of the slope, it turns out to be a cliff instead.
He falls on his back in a cloud of snow, breathing heavily, with his legs hanging over the edge of the cliff.
“[B]y some miracle, I stopped at the edge at the last moment when I saw that the mountain had ended abruptly,” he said.
The cliff was some 40-50 feet tall, dropping down sharply to a Gazprom gas station.
The man tries to pull himself up, but it’s not working. He unfastens his left foot from the snowboard and steps on a small protrusion by his left leg. Getting a more solid footing, he unfastens his right foot and lets the snowboard fall off the cliff.
After walking the long way around and finally reaching the gas station, the man finds the snowboard lying at the bottom of the sheer, upright cliff.
Chalk mountains tend to form steep abrupt cliffs, sometimes protruding as teeth from the surrounding area. It could be because they form amid clays that erode more easily. As the clays are weathered away, the stark chalk formations remain. This snowboarder, however, almost paid a hefty price to learn about chalk’s geological distinctiveness.