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Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Avalanche on 09/27/2009 13:46:35 MDT Print View

I'm not sure how to describe this video, other than something I never want to experience myself despite the positive outcome. With winter approaching (then why is it 100 here today?!?) I think I'll find an avalanche safety refresher.



Andy Berner
(Berner9) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Avalanche on 09/27/2009 14:36:12 MDT Print View

WOW. Its been a couple of minutes after the video and I'm still struck by how scary that is.

Thanks for posting.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Avalanche on 09/27/2009 15:19:28 MDT Print View

Lucky guy! I can't even imagine how horrible that would be...glad it had a happy ending.

Peter Sustr
(czechxpress) - F - M

Locale: Boulder
Avalanche on 09/27/2009 16:38:03 MDT Print View

That is nuts!! Very lucky guy, everybody that goes into the backcountry in winter should watch that, it will make you think twice about taking chances.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Avalanche on 09/27/2009 17:15:23 MDT Print View

And if you are wearing an AvaLung, get it in place before you launch.

And for solo hikers, make sure you can reach that PLB, no matter what happens.

Edited by greg23 on 09/27/2009 17:16:19 MDT.

Nicole Ryan
(NicoleRR) - F
Rick Dreher on 09/27/2009 17:23:33 MDT Print View

Hey there found you and with the Bruno inteview I know its you. e-mail

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Avalanche on 09/27/2009 17:52:20 MDT Print View

"Very lucky guy, everybody that goes into the backcountry in winter should watch that, it will make you think twice about taking chances."

For a riveting double feature, pair this one with "12 More Turns".

First the good news, then the really bad news. It'll make you realize just how lucky this guy was. I would seriously recommend watching both before heading out for a day of frolicking in the snow.

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Avalanche on 09/27/2009 22:20:16 MDT Print View

I'm still trying to breath normally after watching that.

As we were watching, I was trying to explain to my teenagers what he was going through, They really didn't understand why he couldn't move until I explained the physics of how snow packs in an avalanche. I've been in a couple of small ones that I was able ski out of, but never completely covered and packed in.
That also was one long ride.

The thing that saved him was the beacon he turned on and put into his jacket just before he dropped in and his buddies having them also- along with the shovels. These are a must for any major back country adventure.

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Avalanche on 09/27/2009 22:39:10 MDT Print View

Insane and very scary!! 4.28 minutes must of felt like lifetime.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Avy II course & transciever on 10/28/2009 17:42:28 MDT Print View

Last year I took the Avalanche I course. I had all the avy equipment (probe, shovel snow saw, snow study kit, inclinometer, and even a BD Avalung) EXCEPT a tranciever beacon so I borrowed one from a fellow ski patroller.

This year I'm taking an Avy II course and after waiting a year for the beacon industry technology race to shake down and come out with the best digital stuff I've finally decided on a beacon.

I talked to a beacon user at Mountain Gear and he liked the Ortovbox S1 And the Barryvox Pulse. Mountain gear wants $499.for teh S1 (gulp!) but lo and behold! I found the same tranciever in the Ski Patrol catalog for a "mere" $329. Guess I know where I'll be getting my beacon.

Now to study 'til avy knowledge is second nature and I can interpret any snow pit.

Who knows, maybe next year I'll buy a Swiss inflatable avy pack. For SURE I'll be wearing a helmet in avalanche country.


Edited by Danepacker on 10/28/2009 17:43:12 MDT.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
think on 10/29/2009 09:43:31 MDT Print View

Gear is good and all, but to a fairly large extent avys are predictable. BD had that on their site earlier this year, and you can see the terrain transition off which the slide triggered.

Bottom line: if you have to use your beacon on someone in your party, you screwed up (massive slides in Alaska and the Himalaya perhaps excepted). Also bear in mind that most avy victims die from blunt force trauma.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
"...avys are predictable." on 10/29/2009 13:21:45 MDT Print View


Your comment "...TO A FAIRLY LARGE EXTENT avys are predictable." is true. That predictability is why we take avy courses, a large pert of which are devoted to being ABLE to predict them. Things like weather history, hoar frost layers, slope compass aspect, fracture lines, etc. are all part of that "predictability". The snow study kit, inclinometer, shovel and saw for test pits are fully 1/2 the gear in terms of importance.

BUT... it's the UNpredictale part that means you'd better have good rescue equipment and the latest training. Shoveling out a victim takes the longest of any part of a rescue. Knowing HOW to shovel & paddle snow efficiently in a conveyor system of rotating lead shovelers is paramount. But having the correct shovels is also important, as, for ex., former owners of plastic bladed shovels discovered to their dismay.

It's all of a piece - good work at predicting avalanches and good work at rescuing victims when prediction fails horribly. And in all of this good equipment is often as vital as good knowledge.