Avalanche Beacon, Probe and Shovel
Each winter and spring climbers, skiers and snowmobile users are involved in snow avalanches and rescues. The conditions are simply a mass of snow and a slope. With varying temperatures, the snow pack loosens and breaks free. Snow slips on an incline of any surface when a slight melting occurs, causing lubrication from the water. A small scale example is commonly seen on the roof of a house. It is common to see small sections of snow break free and sag and slip down the roof. If you examine this small-scale phenomenon on you may notice how layers of snow break free and slip. This is the principle behind a large-scale version. It is important to reach the victim within about 15 minutes. After that time hypothermia and lack of oxygen will greatly decrease chances of survival. There are several accessories that can improve rescue and chances of survival.
The avalanche beacon or transceiver is the most effective and fastest method of locating a victim. When someone is buried in snow, the beacon will send a signal that other transceivers can detect. The backcountry enthusiast should set the beacon to "transmit" before entering an avalanche prone area. If an avalanche occurs, the rescuing personnel switch their transceiver to receive. The rescuing party makes their best guess as to the location of the buried person, then circles in a large pattern, decreasing the radius around the signal. Using an avalanche beacon takes practice, but if used skillfully can dramatically decrease the time an individual is caught in the snow.
Avalanche beacons and rescue gear:
More...when correctly used greatly reduce the amount of time spent pinpointing, probing, and digging. A few features found on these transceivers are digital, analog, dual antenna, directional lighting and digital distance readings.
Avalung Avalanche Breathing
More...packages and devices to extend the amount of time an avalanche victim can breathe under the snow.
More.... These devices are used after the beacon or transceiver has narrowed the location to a very small diameter. Probes are made of aluminum tubing with an extended length up to 12 feet, and collapse to 15 inches (40 centimeters).
Avalanche Equipment Packages
More...These packages include the avalanche beacon, 240cm probe, avalanche rescue shovel, and gear pack.
More...are an important accessory for avalanche safety. Once located by an avalanche beacon and probe, the shovel gets you down to the victim 4 times quicker compared to hand digging.
Snow Study Kit
More.... This kit gives you capability to study the condition of snow crystals. Has a crystal card, digital thermometer, slope meter, 6x magnifier.