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Why WOULDN'T you wear an Airbag when heli or cat skiing? - Page 2

post #31 of 147

I agree with Bob Peters and the O.P...Why wouldn't you use this technology? We adopted probes and shovels when we wanted to save our companions, and later adopted beacons.  Avalungs gave us some time to survive in the worst event, and now a device seems to keep us above sliding snow.  It doesn't solve the problem of being strained through trees or dropped off a cliff, but to me, it's no different than wearing proper motorcycle attire.  You don't dress for the ride, you prepare for the crash you hope never comes.  It doesn't impair your judgement or skills in avoiding the wreck, but it can save your live.  How valuable is that when it's your life?

post #32 of 147

You prefer a meaningful number that does not involve any mistakes being made while tumbling high speed down a steep mountain in thousands of tons of heavy snow?  There are just too many variables to ever produce an accurate figure, IMO. The device theoretically has value. beyond that....

furthermore, even if a person deployed the bag successfully, and survived an avalanche, there is no way to attribute the survival to the bag. there's no science here whatsoever.

post #33 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

You prefer a meaningful number that does not involve any mistakes being made while tumbling high speed down a steep mountain in thousands of tons of heavy snow?  There are just too many variables to ever produce an accurate figure, IMO. The device theoretically has value. beyond that....

furthermore, even if a person deployed the bag successfully, and survived an avalanche, there is no way to attribute the survival to the bag. there's no science here whatsoever.



I disagree.  There is a lot of science involved pertaining to displacement vs mass and experiments that have been conducted in the development of this product.  The anecdotal stories of high rates of survival are not an accident.  In any individual incident, you cannot prove survival is attributable to a single variable.  However when survival rates per incident are significantly greater with an air-bag than without, it becomes a proof.  The product is new, and while the epidemiology may not be complete, the evidence and background science is at least compelling.  Dave...it's all meaningless as long as you only ski inbounds.  You don't need to do this.

post #34 of 147

Cirquerider makes sense to me.  So with all factors included, the survival rate (from the Euro study mentioned above) with air bag is 3%.  What is the survival rate without it?

post #35 of 147

agreed, I think it's an unknown. and no one will know for a much longer time, the science of outdoor magazine ads considered.

 

and, given a normal season, I ski in more avi danger than most OB skiers if you consider number of runs and actual ski time on deep unstable snow, (not counting the dangerous hours spent hiking up in the OB that is). so I'm interested. and what to talk with my son about.

post #36 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by at_nyc View Post


That 3 out of 100 includes many cases of airbag not deploying at all, either deu to human error or device defect. I can't quite find it, but I think I recall a much more meaningful number when airbags were DEPLOYED!
 

 


I couldn't find the full study, but this one quotes it at 97% survival rate in 262 cases where Airbags were deployed. 84% were unharmed. 

 

http://abs-airbag.de/us/abs-system/die-10-abs-ueberlebens-prinzipien/

post #37 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by at_nyc View Post


That 3 out of 100 includes many cases of airbag not deploying at all, either deu to human error or device defect. I can't quite find it, but I think I recall a much more meaningful number when airbags were DEPLOYED!
 

 



Well, I'm going to bet you that the 97 people who were wearing these had hoped the airbag would deploy and save their life.  Sure, you might have better odds if the airbag deploys, but if the technology is such that that's unlikely to happen, how good is the technology?  Conversely, I'm sure the 3 people that walked out alive are all stockholders now.

post #38 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave_SSS View Post

Because I've never been interested in skiing more dangerous high steep challenging slopes that are most avalanche prone like so many advanced skiers tend to be drawn towards.   In other words there are many advanced skiers attracted to steep and deep open bowls and chutes as though that is the ultimate powder attraction.   Of course that is the main diet of those making all manner of skiing movies so no wonder. 

 

As an old guy I've been a strong powder skiing a long time.  And have a lot of days out in battle gear storm skiing.   My own powder skiing preference tends to be slopes with somewhat lower gradients...


Most avalanches occur on slopes of 35 to 45 degrees. Steeper slopes are less likely to have large avalanches. 25 to 35 degree slopes are prone to infrequent (often large) slab avalanches and wet loose snow avalanches.

 

http://pistehors.com/backcountry/wiki/Avalanches/Slope-Steepness

 

post #39 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by kelly001 View Post



Sure, you might have better odds if the airbag deploys, but if the technology is such that that's unlikely to happen, how good is the technology? 



Not good enough to go 'avalanching' apparently.

 

post #40 of 147

I went cat skiing for the first time 8 years ago. There were two "client backpacks" for 12 skiers to take turns carrying and i found the pack cumbersome as i don't like skiing with a back pack. Last year i cat skied with a different cat operator and because everyone got a back pack they had less equipment in each and they were not cumbersome at all. In fact there was was no need to remove the pack while riding in the cat. Each pack had a shovel, probe, and rope for assisting someone who may get caught floundering in a tree well's unconsolidated snow.

 

I do wonder if the cat operator from 8 years ago has up dated to a pack for everyone because what happens if the client with the one pack is the one buried and what if the other one with the only other client pack is way down hill from the buried skier? That would leave only the tail gunner guide with rescue equipment and quick access to the buried skier.

 

As far as air bags go, it took a long time for air bags to be standard in cars, so i guess it will also take a while but eventually they will be standard for bc skiing (heli, cat and touring) as well.

 

 

 

post #41 of 147

c'mon, that's an ad. there's some science going on at...let's see, red wine assoc., spaghetti sause prevents cancer assoc., coffee growers assoc., egg layers, oatmeal heart health assoc, etc.rolleyes.gif they must have some benevolent avalanches in Europe, and perhaps the language is different for slough, sluff, and so on. that's cynical to post an advertisement as a study.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post


I couldn't find the full study, but this one quotes it at 97% survival rate in 262 cases where Airbags were deployed. 84% were unharmed. 

 

http://abs-airbag.de/us/abs-system/die-10-abs-ueberlebens-prinzipien/



 

post #42 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abox View Post




Not good enough to go 'avalanching' apparently.

Lol, in the year 2050, xgames awards first medals in avalanching
post #43 of 147

Indeed that is true.   Seriously steep West Face at K22 is about 35 to 40 degrees. Of course people ski much steeper slopes.   25 to 35 degree slopes are steeper than my preference although I often ski such powder slopes inbounds especially in the woods.   My ideal powder slopes are less than 25 degrees.  I've never helicopter or cat skied but if I did, would be paying to ski slopes I enjoy most that are below avalanche gradients.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15 View Post


Most avalanches occur on slopes of 35 to 45 degrees. Steeper slopes are less likely to have large avalanches. 25 to 35 degree slopes are prone to infrequent (often large) slab avalanches and wet loose snow avalanches.

 

http://pistehors.com/backcountry/wiki/Avalanches/Slope-Steepness

 



 

post #44 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanoT View Post

I went cat skiing for the first time 8 years ago. There were two "client backpacks" for 12 skiers to take turns carrying and i found the pack cumbersome as i don't like skiing with a back pack. Last year i cat skied with a different cat operator and because everyone got a back pack they had less equipment in each and they were not cumbersome at all. In fact there was was no need to remove the pack while riding in the cat. Each pack had a shovel, probe, and rope for assisting someone who may get caught floundering in a tree well's unconsolidated snow.

 

I do wonder if the cat operator from 8 years ago has up dated to a pack for everyone because what happens if the client with the one pack is the one buried and what if the other one with the only other client pack is way down hill from the buried skier? That would leave only the tail gunner guide with rescue equipment and quick access to the buried skier.

 

As far as air bags go, it took a long time for air bags to be standard in cars, so i guess it will also take a while but eventually they will be standard for bc skiing (heli, cat and touring) as well.

 

 

 

When I skied in Chamonix last year with guided groups we had some avy danger one day, and I had the only shovel in the group.  (We all had beacons).  The other days we were mainly concerned with crevasses, which were unusually bad due to low snow cover, but the guide had the only rope and pulleys.  Also the only radio.  After the trip I started wondering about that. 
 

 

post #45 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

c'mon, that's an ad. there's some science going on at...let's see, red wine assoc., spaghetti sause prevents cancer assoc., coffee growers assoc., egg layers, oatmeal heart health assoc, etc.rolleyes.gif they must have some benevolent avalanches in Europe, and perhaps the language is different for slough, sluff, and so on. that's cynical to post an advertisement as a study.


Study was by the Swiss Avalanche Institute - what were you expecting, a U.N. Commission? You're a skeptic? That's cool, don't buy one. If I skied in Avy terrain, I would.

 

post #46 of 147

I'd have my doubts for catskiing, only 'cause you'll mostly be in the trees. Can't imagine the airbag would help much there. In more open terrain, possibly yes. 

post #47 of 147

Measurements of steepness are likely averages. There could be steeper sections. Say the slide fractures in one of those steeper areas, it will then develop momentum to travel over areas that are not considered the optimal gradient. Also, in our region, most people that get into a tough situation are in very small pockets, sloughs perhaps only 20 feet across, maybe 80 feet long, skier triggered, sometimes by just one turn on a steep pitch.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dave_SSS View Post

Indeed that is true.   Seriously steep West Face at K22 is about 35 to 40 degrees. Of course people ski much steeper slopes.   25 to 35 degree slopes are steeper than my preference although I often ski such powder slopes inbounds especially in the woods.   My ideal powder slopes are less than 25 degrees.  I've never helicopter or cat skied but if I did, would be paying to ski slopes I enjoy most that are below avalanche gradients.
 



 



 

post #48 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post

When I skied in Chamonix last year with guided groups we had some avy danger one day, and I had the only shovel in the group.  (We all had beacons).  The other days we were mainly concerned with crevasses, which were unusually bad due to low snow cover, but the guide had the only rope and pulleys.  Also the only radio.  After the trip I started wondering about that. 
 

 


Did you have harnesses?  Should be standard issue when in crevice territory.

 

post #49 of 147

 more hypotheticals, "if" being the operative word here. not to take away from what you say, but it's not likely to change my mind: if I'm in Avi terrain bad enough to start a slide like that, I'm already in the wrong place.

 

I can tell you that the Swiss numbers are irrelevant to the Sierra.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post


Study was by the Swiss Avalanche Institute - what were you expecting, a U.N. Commission? You're a skeptic? That's cool, don't buy one. If I skied in Avy terrain, I would.

 



 

post #50 of 147

This is such an interesting and confusing topic.  I'm seeing more and more skiers equipped with airbags (and Avalungs) in the general population here in Jackson.  Good, bad, or indifferent... that's what I'm seeing.

 

Here's what else I'm seeing. I would say a MUCH higher percentage of the people who are riding "questionable" lines - ones that I wouldn't ski in certain avalanche conditions - are the ones wearing bags and lungs.  To me, that's anecdotal evidence that having the technology changes the mindset.

 

I guess if I really WAS going to ski some of those lines during significant avalanche danger times, I would definitely want to be bagged and lunged for sure.  But I would never ski those conditions, period, so why have a bag?  One side of me really looks on having a bag as a tacit admission that I'm going to end up doing something that I really shouldn't.

 

 

 

post #51 of 147


 

   If the risk is infinitely small -then the benefit of the airbag is even smaller.     If the risk is finite but definite... don't go there - no airbag needed.

 

 

Of course, having been in a slide already I will admit I am not as conservative as I thought I was.

post #52 of 147

Yeah.  Someone I know had this exchange recently with his wife...

 

HIM: I think I'm going to order one of those ABS backpack bags.

 

WIFE: If you think you need one of those, you'd better not be f***ing going there anyway.

 

Not saying the airbags aren't a great invention, but it's hard to argue with her logic.
 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post

 

One side of me really looks on having a bag as a tacit admission that I'm going to end up doing something that I really shouldn't.

 



 

post #53 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post


 

WIFE: If you think you need one of those, you'd better not be f***ing going there anyway.

 

Not saying the airbags aren't a great invention, but it's hard to argue with her logic.
 



 



Hypothetically speaking, if the wife knew he'd already been in a slide, would she stomp her foot or buy him one?

post #54 of 147

I'm going to guess she'd smack him upside the head.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post



Hypothetically speaking, if the wife knew he'd already been in a slide, would she stomp her foot or buy him one?



 

post #55 of 147

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kelly001 View Post

Using European -- mostly Swiss -- data of avalanche accidents involving air bags, which have been used across the pond for more than 25 years, Atkins paints a much less rosy picture of the inflatable tools.  Based on those statistics, about three in 100 people equipped with air bags survive an avalanche."

 

http://www.adn.com/2012/02/19/2326372/snow-enthusiasts-split-on-use.html

 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by kelly001 View Post



Well, I'm going to bet you that the 97 people who were wearing these had hoped the airbag would deploy and save their life.  Sure, you might have better odds if the airbag deploys, but if the technology is such that that's unlikely to happen, how good is the technology?  Conversely, I'm sure the 3 people that walked out alive are all stockholders now.

 

I`d be happy to bet against you...I saw that 3% in the article but it has to be a typo or misquote-  Way more than 3% of people survive avalanches with or without airbags.  I think I recall the survival rate being something like 33% on a full burial (not sure if that is with or without a beacon) and much higher when it is not a full burial.  Maybe they meant to say 3% don`t survive (in line with the 97% survival rate Epic quotes).  If only 3% survived with airbags, they would likely be outlawed and nobody would consider buying them.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post


I couldn't find the full study, but this one quotes it at 97% survival rate in 262 cases where Airbags were deployed. 84% were unharmed. 

 

http://abs-airbag.de/us/abs-system/die-10-abs-ueberlebens-prinzipien/


Quote:

Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post

... But I would never ski those conditions, period, so why have a bag?  One side of me really looks on having a bag as a tacit admission that I'm going to end up doing something that I really shouldn't.

 

Would that side of you say that the only reason you have a beacon is to help locate others who did something that they shouldn`t have?
 

 

My thinking is that snow science is inexact- yes airbags might embolden people to take extra risks, but even cautious back country skiers likely put themselves in situations that there is some, albeit very low, risk of a slide.
 

 

 


Edited by MEfree30 - 2/27/12 at 3:14pm
post #56 of 147

Looking at recent scholarly articles, it seems that 3% is the fatality rate of skiers caught up in avalanches wearing airbags vs. 19% of people not wearing airbags.  This is from retroactive Swiss/Austrian data.

post #57 of 147

^^^ if that is correct, the airbag raises your surviving an avalanch rate from  (chance of getting caught in avalanche)*81 to (chance of getting caught in avalanche)x 97.  Now if we only knew what the chance of getting caught in an avalanch was, we would be making some statistical progress.

post #58 of 147

I'll say it again...Are you crazy (and stack the deck in your favour as best as you can), or are you STUPID and go for it any way without protection and forthought (The Darwin Awards are looking for their next winner http://www.darwinawards.com/)

 

Right or wrong technology is there to help to increase your odds of survival (from a little to a lot).  I've done enough crazy things in my life to appreciate the difference...take whatever advantage you can get, dead is dead!

 

Sorry for the rant, I think a few are missing the point validly raised.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #59 of 147

One more comment and I'm out. The science on this, be it Swiss or not, is utter bunko. the statistics are as always, not science at all. Even if one out of four people survive a slide and that one person was the only person that deployed an air bag, it wouldn't mean a damn thing. nothing. nada. zero. do you get that yet? there are far too many variables and no control. so quit with the f'ing numbers and dumb data. bunko!

post #60 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldschoolskier View Post

Sorry for the rant, I think a few are missing the point validly raised.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


What point is that, exactly?
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