Avalanche Burial and Rescue - caught on headcam

Avalanche Burial and Rescue - caught on headcam

Started by Admin in Avalanche Safety - 3 Replies

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J2Ski

Admin posted Feb-2016

It's from last season, but given the currently high avalanche risk - and the likelihood of weak layers remaining buried in the snowpack until the end of this winter - everyone should take time to watch this.

If you like to leave the piste, then get the gear and learn to use it. Get a coffee and watch why...



The first comment on Youtube is hard to disagree with :-

StraitD2 wrote:As far as I'm concerned(no, i'm not an expert, but i've done the training), this is about as good as it is going to get. Not going at the same time and having one off to the side was the first right thing they did, so they both didn't get buried. Started at the last known sighting of his body before getting buried, then doing zigzag pattern while staying calm. HAVING and USING the transmitter and receivers was the second thing that was done right, and of course digging him out. Aka having shovels on them.


Dennis is a lucky guy; his lips were "turning purple" even though his buddy got to him quickly.

It looks as if he would have been dug out quicker if the group who came up to help had been equipped; presumably they weren't wearing transceivers either so one can assume the outcome might have been different if one of them had been under the snow.

If you have a GoPro but not a transceiver, you should probably have a word with yourself about your priorities...
The Admin Man

Ranchero_1979
reply to 'Avalanche Burial and Rescue - caught on headcam'
posted Feb-2016

Of course easy to judge with hindsight and certainly Chatel is the sort of resort I would be looking to head to on after a big dump. Fairly low so likely less chance of wind slab, mellow terrain. So at least at beginning of day some good decision making. Easy to see how can happen afterwards when you start enjoying yourself.

Just a few observations:-
1) You could see the snow was wind affected up high (high potential for slab avalanche)
2) They decided to ski the steepest part of the leeward slope, which was loaded. Had they gone around that band of rocks looked a nice mellow slope and would of likely been fine. There is even a track confirming this.
3) Why did guy feel need to do a jump? Presumably initial intent was not to apply as much weight on slope as possible?
4) Seemed to me group was pretty spread out laterally, maybe too far? Had guy not been carried down as far it would of required a big upwards traverse to get to avalanche debris? Also meant the rescuer has to ski down a slope which was equally likely to trigger. Same slope, same angle but he resisted the air.
5) Would a definite pole strike have aided digging efficiency? Amazing how deep buy was buried!

Certainly lucky that one on the group was switched on whilst others just froze. Calling 112 obviously works but everyone should have the local mountain rescue and pisteurs number in their phone. Plenty of apps available that will give them your long lat at same time.
Edited 2 times. Last update at 09-Feb-2016

Admin
reply to 'Avalanche Burial and Rescue - caught on headcam'
posted Feb-2016

Ranchero_1979 wrote:Certainly lucky that one on the group was switched on whilst others just froze. Calling 112 obviously works but everyone should have the local mountain rescue and pisteurs number in their phone. Plenty of apps available that will give them your long lat at same time.

I go the impression "the group" was just "Dennis" and his buddy; the others looked as if they had either just cleared the slope or were traversing lower down and came up to offer assistance (good to come, but no useful kit in evidence).

Good point about having the local mountain rescue number in your phone... rock up to get lift pass, grab piste map, put number in phone!
The Admin Man

Ranchero_1979
reply to 'Avalanche Burial and Rescue - caught on headcam'
posted Feb-2016

Tomorrow will be a scary day in Alps.

Rain to 2000m since mid morning, supposed to get cold later with upto 45cm of snow on a decent wind. More snow tomorrow and very cold -20degC @3500m. Could be a big powder day if you can figure out where to ski safely.

Topic last updated on 09-February-2016 at 14:34

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