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Avalanche Airbag Light? Thoughts?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Now that we solved the avalanche airbag debate in the other thread wink.gif, I thought I'd throw this out there for debate. This is a new system from Switzerland I came across a couple months ago. It's similar to an airbag in that it's trigger activated and inflates via compressed air.


But it's not designed to keep you afloat. It's basically just an inflatable marker to make search and rescue that much faster i.e. bright-orange balloon floats on the snow, rescuer spots it right away, uses the attached cord to pull his way to the victim's  location, and then digs.


I emailed Lou Dawson about it, and he was pretty skeptical, saying it's just like the balloons they used to use before beacons. He knows about 5 million x more about this type of stuff than me, but I think it seems like a valuable augmentative device. It's not meant to replace a transceiver or probe (or airbag for that matter), but just to offer an added layer of protection that could help. They haven't priced or released it yet, but a rep said it could cost about $100 to be integrated into jackets, backpacks, etc. So basically a $100 premium and you get a version of X jacket with this thing built in. For that price, I think it's a solid investment, assuming you don't use it to replace any standard equipment (which I could definitely see people doing).


Of course, if it pops or the cord snaps, it's of no value.


Here's a video and link. http://www.rotauf.ch/en




post #2 of 6

Powder leashes for people?



post #3 of 6

Avalanche Ball


This idea has been around for a bit. Here is one version. I did not take the time to dig through the website, but as of a couple years ago, I believe they (or a clone) had just spun up a US distributor. Note that this one is shaped by internal springs that engage to "inflate" it as it is deployed. No cartridges, etc. For my .02, I'd rather wear an ABS pack...

post #4 of 6

What if you go around a tree and the ball goes around the other side of the tree, or it gets hung up on a cliff.  I just don't like the idea of having something that long hanging off me when i'm in an Avalanche. I always thought that's why powder cords aren't permanently attached to a person.  Rather buy an air bag.

post #5 of 6

Sounds like the old RED Avalanche Cord used many years ago. The cord would be thrown out or dragged behind in avalanche danger.  The red cord would naturally float to the surface.

post #6 of 6

I would not use it, because there seems to be a change that the rope can wrap you.  The neck will not be good.  Float system is far superior than this.

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