Avalanche Awareness Video...This Is REAL!!
I found this 10 minute video over at Utah Avalanche Center and it really brought home how important Avy awareness, training, and gear is. Please take the time to watch the entire 10 minute video as it takes you from fun to poor decisions to chaos and potential death. Tyson Black, you are a very, very, lucky man and I hope you heed the warnings given in this video.
Hopefully you noticed that the area in which these guys were high pointing (trying to reach a higher point on a hill than the previous attempts) had already recently released a slide on the right side of the hill, yet they went for it anyway. There are so many things that these guys did wrong I can't believe how lucky they were to all survive.
Mandatory Avalanche Gear:
- Beacon/Transceiver: Know how to use it! Even the dummy proof ones can be confusing when you are stressed/panicking. Take a class and practice, practice, practice. Before going out check the batteries and functionality!!!
- Snow Shovel: Your shovel should be stout to handle the abuse. I recommend a metal blade not the plastic ones.
- Probe Poles: Practice using them and understand search techniques. Some poles snap apart and you waste precious time reassembling after each probe.
Here is a great resource to learn how to utilize an avalanche beacon to preform a search after a slide. Remember that each manufacturer has a slightly different approach so be sure and understand the way not only your beacon works but the beacons of everyone in your party.
This year has been especially bad for slides so please heed the warnings and be prepared.
Avalanche.org is site dedicated to current avalanche conditions and should be used as an up to date resource as should the local ranger station in the area you plan on playing in.