Avalanche Beacon Exercises

Avalanches > Search and Rescue > Searching for Avalanche Victims > Avalanche Beacon Exercises

It is possible to practise these techniques in any large space, such as a park or forest. Pre-season is ideal when autumn leaves can hide the beacon. In city parks be careful about theft, we lost an Arva 8000? in a Paris park one autumn. Someone in the group should keep track of all the beacons while the others are searching. Sand also makes a substitute for snow, searchers should wrap their transceivers in clear plastic bags or food-wrap as sand can get everywhere, particularly during localisation. The 'victim' beacon should also be put in a plastic bag then buried around 50cm, in an old sack or rucksack so that it can be found by probing. A small 20litre rucksack at 50cm roughly equates to a typical victim buried some 75cm under snow.

Users should also practise on snow, on a slope with single and with multiple transceivers. Again the transceiver can be readily buried in a rucksack to provide bulk for a probe search. Remember to ensure that the 'victim' transceiver is switched on and in transmit mode before it is hidden.

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