The hair-raising moment a skier is swallowed whole by an avalanche

Shocking video has emerged of an experienced skier being swallowed whole by a massive avalanche.

It was the first encounter with an avalanche in 25 years of skiing for Vladimir Jovanovski, 28, of Macedonia, the Daily Mail reports.

He says the foreboding cracking sound of the avalanche horrified him, and although he was aware it could happen to people, he did not believe he would be hit.

"I've watched a lot of videos online and on YouTube of people being swept away by an avalanche, but I never thought it could happen to me," he told The Daily Mail.

'It felt very frightening - the sound that the avalanche makes when it starts is horrific, a crackling sound, and it suddenly it started picking up speed very fast and there was nothing I could do but try to stay on top of it by picking up speed.'"

Mr Jovanovski tried to stay on top of the avalanche and race it to the bottom before being sucked in, where his only thought was to try and stay on top of the snow.

"I tried to do this by moving my arms and legs. I was just hoping I didn't hit a rock or a tree while on my way down," he said.

"I felt very relieved when I eventually stopped at the bottom where I could let my friend know that I was okay."