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Avalanche Skier POV Helmet Cam Burial & Rescue in Haines, Alaska - Page 2

post #31 of 50
From the link provided by kramgunderson.....

The big buzz at last week’s Outdoor Retailer trade show, which displays all manner of backwoods gear for shops to buy, was the Float 30 airbag backpack from Backcountry Access. The BCA device contains a pressurized air canister and large, inflatable bags, which you trigger if you’re caught in a slide. The theory is that larger objects stay on top of the snow, just as the crumbs end up on the bottom of a bag of chips and the unbroken pieces above. This “inverse segregation” is validated by tests and real life accidents. More than 100 deployments have been reported in the Alps, with survival rate of 98 percent. And in 2001, the Swiss Federal Institute of Snow and Avalanche Research sent 13 mannequins for a ride in an avalanche and found that airbag systems dramatically protect the victims.
post #32 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post

Have you guys heard about the ABS packs that inflate and  prevent burial? 
 

I have had one for 6 or 7 years.  Mine is the medium/plus size & has room for all the essentials for a days outing.  They make one smaller, but there is not much room for extra stuff.  They also make larger models.  The pack itself is made by Dynafit, very durable, well thought out & well made & skis very well.  The downside is that it is on the heavy side.  It is also a pain to ship the deployment canister anywhere.  The only dependable way to get it anywhere is ground shipping, or making arrangements to pick up a canister at your destination.  When I tried to get one in AK I was surprised that the outfit I skied with had never heard of it.  In Europe they are quite popular & as stated in the link provided by kramgunderson:  Avalanche Airbags ($1000), on the other hand, reduce avalanche mortality rates from about 35% to 1.3%!!!  So they are proven effective.  In my 2 recent trips to interior British Columbia I skied with a number of Canadians who also had ABS packs.  I have never skied with anyone in the US who has one, although I am sure they are around.  There is still no defense against many of the other things that can get you though!

A small selection from my life insurance policy (the BC Tracker is for my less prepared partners if the need arises):


This is the inside of the pack.  The balloons are stored in the yellow striped area.  There are velcroed panels on the sides, like an air bag in your car, they explode out of these panels.  The white thing next to the canister is the hand trigger which is removable to avoid accidental deployment while on the lift or other places where it would create havoc.  The handle attaches to a tube on the shoulder strap of the pack, & the canister is connected in an internal pouch at the top of the pack:


JF
post #33 of 50
Thread Starter 
What are the air bags made of?  Are the air bags made with Kevlar to prevent  punctures from ice axes, skis edges, ski poles, and tree branches? 

The statistics are hard to argue against.  My gut feeling is the numbers sounds too good to be true.
post #34 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by catskills View Post

What are the air bags made of?  
 

I don't know what material the bags are made of, but it seems like pretty tough stuff.  I understand your skeptisism.  None of these tools & precautions are a gaurantee of safety, only good or lucky decisions can do that.  The stats are all in Tromanos link.  If I am going to ski powder in possible avalanche terrain, I am going to try to have the odds leaning in my direction with whatever means I can.

We could just stay inside & play video games, or chat on the intrwebz.
JF
post #35 of 50
In the link that I posted the bags were made of polyethylene like plastic.
post #36 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post

In the link that I posted the bags were made of polyethylene like plastic.

Thanks for the info. Polyethylene Garbage bags should make everyone feel a lot safer. 

In looking at the more detailed information here all dummies 1A - 7A has the ABS bags and 1B - 7B had no ABS bags.  Notice that the dummies 1A-7A with ABS bags seem to travel further down the mountain then the dummies without ABS in the photo below.  2A had partial cartridge failure and 5A cartridge did not activate.  So they had 2 out of 7 failures in their ABS deployment tests (72% chance of working) The dummies had ski poles but there was nothing said about other sharp objects like skis, snowboards, crampons, or ICE axes. 

The most concerning information was ABS dummies were carried further down the slope, which BTW the video commentary voice in the video said just the opposite.  If the end of the slide has trees or cliff you may end up with a higher probability of trauma being carried through the tree shredder or carried over a cliff by deploying the ABS bags versus not having the ABS bags and stopping further up hill. 

You got to love this sentence which was in bold:
with the ABS Avalanche Airbag system almost everybody will survive.

I call BULL SHIT

This is not to say the ABS system may save lives.  Again your best defense is your brain and the brain of the guide you are paying.  Don't take higher risks because your wearing the ABS system that where almost everybody will survive.... almost. 

http://www.abssystem.com/abs-Dateien/main-Dateien/facts/frame.htm

post #37 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by catskills View Post


I have a hard time believing these thinks work in many cases.  Your standing below an avalanche and you get hit by slabs of snow moving at over 60MPH that are strong enough to break your sternum in the middle of your chest.  I would think those inflated ABS packs would make this sound:

POOF 

 
I think they are made to be inflated once you are in the slide.  Unless both your arms are broken and you are unconscious.  Best thing is just don't get caught in an avalanche.
post #38 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by huhh View Post



I think they are made to be inflated once you are in the slide.  Unless both your arms are broken and you are unconscious.  Best thing is just don't get caught in an avalanche.

 

I think these things offer some promise.  Certainly the principle of airbags staying on top is valid.

In my limited avy experience, I think they would have been very easy to deploy in the slab I started.  The entire snowfield shattered like a plate, and we headed down the mountain.  I'm not sure I would have had the wherewith all to do it, but physically it would have been possible.

When I was hit from above it would have been more difficult.  I was slammed into and immediately subjected to violent cartwheeling.  Once up to speed however, I swam to the top.  That would have been an opportunity to deploy it.

I can't see that an airbag would be detrimental, unless it promoted overconfidence.
post #39 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowfan View Post

Thanks for posting this, been planning to get avylung, metal shovel, DSP, probe...if not for me, for the other guy.

Priceless video.
 


Watched it this morning in a pause, and I noticed that the guy who was doing the shoveling was using a lexan (plastic) one.
So, if one's good and know how to use the gear, it doesn't really make any diference.
post #40 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4ster View Post



BTW, the middle portion of this video was used for awhile by Black Diamond as a testimonial for the Avalung.


This doesn't make sense to me.  And the Avalung concept seems weak.  Who would want to ski with a mouth piece, and even dropping into this situation - he didn't.  Nobody suggested that he put the piece in his mouth.  The amount of pressure and trauma that he experienced, wouldn't it likely have been ripped from his mouth - teeth included.  Without strapping that thing into position, I can't imagine that it would stay there.  Look at the surface area on the hose portion leading from the pack.  This seems like a false sense of security.

And those bags, they would work as long as there is nothing in the way like rocks and trees.  It seems ridiculous.  There are materials, however, that could with stand the abuse of an avalanche, for the most part.
post #41 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Jones View Post

And those bags, they would work as long as there is nothing in the way like rocks and trees.  It seems ridiculous.  There are materials, however, that could with stand the abuse of an avalanche, for the most part.

But then you'd be dead anyway.
post #42 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Jones View Post

And those bags, they would work as long as there is nothing in the way like rocks and trees.  It seems ridiculous.

That's pretty much the whole purpose of the design. Keep in mind the ABS backpacks were designed by Europeans, who did most of their off-piste (and on-piste) skiing well above tree line on long faces.

In those conditions, the biggest threats are burial and trauma from hard slabs of snow hitting you while being buried. If the bags keep you on the surface, that prevents the former while minimizing the latter.

They designed a system for the conditions they face most often, which doesn't sound so ridiculous to me. And, given that it had a 98% success rate in the real-world cases in which it was used, I'd say they did a decent job.
post #43 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post

I can't see that an airbag would be detrimental, unless it promoted overconfidence.

This is what I'm interested in, if there is no downside besides the space taken up in the pack by the bags and canister, and the cost of the system, it sounds like a good idea.
post #44 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gramboh View Post This is what I'm interested in, if there is no downside besides the space taken up in the pack by the bags and canister, and the cost of the system, it sounds like a good idea.
The dummy tests seem to indicate that you may travel further down the mountain with the air bags deployed.  If in fact you do travel further down the slopes, there may be a higher probability of trauma from trees, rocks, and cliffs depending on the type of terrain you are in. Europe has less trees so air bags may be a better solution in Europe than in North America.
post #45 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by CerebralVortex View Post




That's pretty much the whole purpose of the design. Keep in mind the ABS backpacks were designed by Europeans, who did most of their off-piste (and on-piste) skiing well above tree line on long faces.

In those conditions, the biggest threats are burial and trauma from hard slabs

 


This makes sense...for Europe or open spaces.  And, in many ways, being on the surface would be a better place to wind-up than with a ton of snow on top.  It just seems that riding a wave of snow at 60mph into the woods could be a bad situation.  This is America...and we have trees.
post #46 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Jones View Post

It just seems that riding a wave of snow at 60mph into the woods could be a bad situation.  This is America...and we have trees.

Yes, I remember the trees. I grew up skiing in CO, so skiing so much terrain above tree line in the Alps seems somewhat empty.



I was just responding to your remark that a system designed for a different set of conditions was somehow "ridiculous" because it didn't protect you from the conditions you face.

It's like saying a life vest is a ridiculous design because it doesn't protect you from crashing into rocks if you fall into a river and go over some rapids or a waterfall. A life vest is only designed to keep you above water. Just because it doesn't protect you from every possible danger that could be faced in water doesn't make it a bad design.

If going over giant rapids/waterfalls is such a big danger where you are and you need something to protect you from them, then maybe you should stay away from that part of the river. But if you're determined to play there, then you have to choose between the risk of drowning and the risk of being crushed against the rocks.

That's just how it is.
post #47 of 50

So I'm a freediver and SCUBA diver who found this thread while researching inflatable wetsuits (for when big waves bury surfers at sea, they pull the cord and shoot to the surface Billabong is testing them currently.)

 

 

 

Quote:
Who would want to ski with a mouth piece, and even dropping into this situation - he didn't.  Nobody suggested that he put the piece in his mouth.  The amount of pressure and trauma that he experienced, wouldn't it likely have been ripped from his mouth - teeth included.  Without strapping that thing into position, I can't imagine that it would stay there.  Look at the surface area on the hose portion leading from the pack.  This seems like a false sense of security.

 

 

I do arguably deadly things for recreation and have a "horse in the race" when it comes to survival gear.  I'm replying to a post that mentioned how easy it would be for a mouthpiece to be pulled out of your mouth in an avalanche.  So I thought I'd over my two cents, having had my equipment torn off me in heavy surf.  Underwater, breathing equipment is even more important than in an avalanche.  You don't get 2 minutes of air underwater, you get no air.  (Oddly enough, for me diving and avalanches have intersected, as I used to live in a heavily glaciered National Park, so I'd hike through snow to get to cirques and other montaine lakes to freedive them. A diver stuck in back country will apparently still go diving.  While not nearly as direct an impact as skiiing, I have definitely watched big wet chutes run right next to me in March after 6 minutes of sun, or powder run wild when the crust below it breaks up.)

 

My silicone snorkel mouth bites have tabs for my molars to clamp down on, and skirts that help keep them under the lips, and yet it is amazing how little force it takes to rip a snorkel out of one's mouth (I say "rip" and "torn" because the little tabs get torn up, literally ripped on occasion.)  Even a mask that's got suction holding it on and a strap on the head, or fins that are secured, they all get pulled off in even in a moderate wave (like 6 feet high trough to crest.)  I figure an avalanche is at least similar in force to a moderate wave.

I looked at the Ava-Lung online, and the little rubber bite-valve looking set up would be easy to lose.  Now granted, you don't want to strap a tube to someone's face because in case of emergency, it's easy to envision bad things where it's neck vs. air tube "Who will break first!? Tune in to find out!" ...Even when SCUBA diving I've had good reasons to spit out my regulator.  So strapping to the face is bad mojo.
 

I'd like to see it built like a mouth protector used in sports,one that's been molded to the teeth and gums. Something so fitting with so much bite area, well, it's not leaving their mouth without a dislocated jaw if wearer clamps down.  But, if the wearer chooses to spit it out, they can eject it easily.

post #48 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by squiddletinks View Post

So I'm a freediver and SCUBA diver who found this thread while researching inflatable wetsuits (for when big waves bury surfers at sea, they pull the cord and shoot to the surface Billabong is testing them currently.)

 

 

 

 

 

I do arguably deadly things for recreation and have a "horse in the race" when it comes to survival gear.  I'm replying to a post that mentioned how easy it would be for a mouthpiece to be pulled out of your mouth in an avalanche.  So I thought I'd over my two cents, having had my equipment torn off me in heavy surf.  Underwater, breathing equipment is even more important than in an avalanche.  You don't get 2 minutes of air underwater, you get no air.  (Oddly enough, for me diving and avalanches have intersected, as I used to live in a heavily glaciered National Park, so I'd hike through snow to get to cirques and other montaine lakes to freedive them. A diver stuck in back country will apparently still go diving.  While not nearly as direct an impact as skiiing, I have definitely watched big wet chutes run right next to me in March after 6 minutes of sun, or powder run wild when the crust below it breaks up.)

 

My silicone snorkel mouth bites have tabs for my molars to clamp down on, and skirts that help keep them under the lips, and yet it is amazing how little force it takes to rip a snorkel out of one's mouth (I say "rip" and "torn" because the little tabs get torn up, literally ripped on occasion.)  Even a mask that's got suction holding it on and a strap on the head, or fins that are secured, they all get pulled off in even in a moderate wave (like 6 feet high trough to crest.)  I figure an avalanche is at least similar in force to a moderate wave.

I looked at the Ava-Lung online, and the little rubber bite-valve looking set up would be easy to lose.  Now granted, you don't want to strap a tube to someone's face because in case of emergency, it's easy to envision bad things where it's neck vs. air tube "Who will break first!? Tune in to find out!" ...Even when SCUBA diving I've had good reasons to spit out my regulator.  So strapping to the face is bad mojo.
 

I'd like to see it built like a mouth protector used in sports,one that's been molded to the teeth and gums. Something so fitting with so much bite area, well, it's not leaving their mouth without a dislocated jaw if wearer clamps down.  But, if the wearer chooses to spit it out, they can eject it easily.

This is a really interesting point of view. 

I'd never thought about comparing Skiing and scuba diving, but some of this makes sense. 

post #49 of 50

I think it's a different case, for a few reasons.

The force on the item is large based on the surface area exposed to the wave or avalanche.

In the case of your snorkel, you have a bigger "drag"  item since you are basically naked and the snorkel has a large portion that is a rigid tube that has to be pointed in a certain direction attached to your head by a strap.  

In comparison, the avalung is a flexible small tube connected to the backpack, which is strapped to your body.  The tube can move, so like the fable of a bamboo and the tree in the wind, it will yield and let the force go around it to some degree.

So in a wave I think there is a lot more drag force on your scuba gear, as compared to this device.

 

I think you can practically test this out.  In lieu of an avalung, try a camelback in the same position as the avalung, where the majority of the system is strapped to your torso. Then dive into a pool and compare to your snorkel.

 

That being said, If you got suggestions u should send it in to blackdiamond and maybe they will make improvements; but based on the marketing and "success" story reports, it seems that retention was not a problem; but the fact that they talk about it seems to say it is something they actively questioned and design for

post #50 of 50

I have found that just skin diving in high currents is enough to have me bite through the rubber tabs in snorkel mouth pieces.  (I'm a little more careful with the regulator when SCUBA diving).  What we need are better tabs, that aren't so easy to bite off.

 

In any event, I think I would rather not ski with a mouthpiece stuck in my mouth.  What we need is passive CO2 absorption and O2 delivery to the head area.

 

Inventors, 

Listen to your mother.  wink.gif

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