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Avalanche Airbags: Taking Risks?
Posted: 02 November 2011 08:19 PM  
Total Posts:  9
Joined  2011-07-28

Olly Allen (IFMGA) has put down a few of his thoughts on avalanche airbags. You can read the article here.


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Posted: 02 November 2011 09:29 PM   [ # 1 ]  
Sr. Member
Total Posts:  543
Joined  2006-01-24

I’d already read that but worth posting I think. It does look like airbags are the current “must have” item. I do think some of the money people invest might be well spent on a first aid course as well though.

I’ve met the guy in the photo, or someone looking very much like that LOL

 Signature & B&B L’Epicéa, Leysin, Switzerland

Posted: 03 November 2011 09:13 AM   [ # 2 ]  
Total Posts:  2234
Joined  2003-10-24

Just to remind you of the PisteHors article on the same subject from last December

[ Edited: 03 November 2011 10:37 AM by davidof]
Posted: 03 November 2011 04:34 PM   [ # 3 ]  
Sr. Member
Total Posts:  543
Joined  2006-01-24

And you mentioned the purchase of SnowPulse by Mammut recently of course. Also I see BCA got approval for their Float bags :

These are all good products, it’s great to see choice in the market. I like the fact the new entrants aren’t using pyrotechnics for triggers, it’s simple, and therefore likely to be cheaper, easier to travel with and refill is easier. Maybe easier refill opens up some training possibilities although I think it’s still recommended to get a bag checked if it’s deployed. I like the pressure gauge on the BCA gear, I do like things I can check myself.

The obvious danger is that for the skier/boarder with deep pockets this looks like a rational replacement for safe practice.

incidentally..... airbags work on inverse segregation a.k.a the “Brazil nut effect” which was on recent QI program as a “nobody knows” ... so that’s Quite Interesting grin

 Signature & B&B L’Epicéa, Leysin, Switzerland

Posted: 07 November 2011 10:52 AM   [ # 4 ]  
Jr. Member
Total Posts:  32
Joined  2008-05-05

Great article Olly (though the pedant in me would point out that it is Alain Duclos, not Ducros...).

Fully agree with the feeling that (certainly anywhere near lift access) the idea of giving the mountain a day or two to settle is long gone. For me though this is where the ability to tour comes into its own, as you can always walk a bit further (or smarter) to find fresh tracks after a couple of days of stabilisation.

Posted: 07 November 2011 06:13 PM   [ # 5 ]  
Total Posts:  23
Joined  2007-12-09

Yes a tricky one. I still haven’t purchased one. I remember skiing with a guide one day, as a friend, not as a client, who said ‘this could go, i’ll go first as I have an ABS’ Very admirable, but it did make me question the false sense of security. That, or it was a good excuse to grab first tracks!
Undoubtedly they will become a more familiar sight, I’ve already seen doting parents kitting their teenagers out with ABS bags to match their twin tips for a week of soft pisting. Am I jealous? probably. But what’s that saying about all the gear???

Posted: 26 November 2011 02:37 PM   [ # 6 ]  
Total Posts:  2
Joined  2011-11-26

I don’t like carrying too many items when I either ski or mountaineering.

It was the accident in the Swiss Alps in March that made m change my mind.

Now, everytime I hit the snow I always carry an avalanche air bag with me and my personal favorite is the Backcountry skier “Float 30”.

[ Edited: 28 November 2011 12:47 PM by refugiefm]