Of 31 soldiers caught by an avalanche in Northern Norway, one was not buried, 13 were partly buried and 17 were completely buried by the mass of snow. Only one of the completely buried soldiers survived. On admission to hospital after being buried by snow for three hours he had moderate hypothermia. The cause of death in the other 16 was most probably general compression of the body with acute respiratory and circulatory failure. Five of the 13 partly buried had physical traumas. None of the nine attempts at resuscitation succeeded. Self-rescue and rescue by friends were most important to the soldiers who survived. We discuss aspects of the organized rescue operation.