Ohhhh, that's just creepy! Thank God he and his friends were well prepared. What's amazing is how motionless the camera was once the 'concrete' set. I have to wonder how much time/room he had to get his air source started before being locked in solid. It also sounded like his friends were "pinging" him with their cell phones. Beacon maybe? I've skied post-avalanche crud before and there is no doubt you don't simply "swim" out of that stuff.
They had beacons... and if you listen carefully they found him REALLY quickly - you can hear voices starting about 3-4 minutes or so into the video. They had him out in 8 which is absolutely incredible.
YMMV. Viewer discretion is advised.
I'm going to burn this video for our upcoming Avy II course in March. Even the 1st rescuer had an Avalung. These are great devices for extending live burial time.
When worn correctly they keep snow from plugging the mouth AND the nose if you take the time to put on the supplied nose clip. I keep my clip in the zippered intake pouch when not in use and around my neck 'til I get to possible (not just probable) avy terrain.
The most instructive part of the video is the white/black/blue/white/blue/black tumbling sequence and then the TOTAL cessation of motion when the avalanche came to a stop and turned into virtual "cement". This video is worth more than gold in an avalanche training course.
1. Obviously, with such a fast rescue, the victim's buddies watched him closely and figured where he likely stopped. This is the crucial 1st step in avy rescue.
2. Talking to the victim before they are uncovered gives them a great and needed morale boost.
3. This victim may bave been recovered rapidly not only due to good beacon useage but good probing technique.
4. The first rescuer had an easy-to-use Tracker beacon. Be sure you've PRACTICED with your beacon (with friends)several times every year before venturing into avalanche terrain.
1. NEVER carry a plastic avy shovel (as used by the first rescuer). They are not even sold any more B/C of their inability to cut through densly packed debris field snow. This victim, luckily, was near the surface. Always use an aluminum (or steel) shovel)
2. The latest excavation technique was not followed. Excavation should be done in a V pattern with clockwise rotation every few minutes so the point people can go from very tiring shoveling to the somewhat easier job of paddling the snow out of the way. The victim may have physical trauma from hitting rocks, trees, etc. and the faster he/she is removed the sooner first aid can be administered.
"There are no comfortable backpacks. Some are just less uncomfortable than others."
Very insightful 300... I try to stay away from these scenarios so I'm not very familiar with Avalung use.
When I watched it I found the part where the avy started very interesting... I actually gasped out loud when it happened even though I knew what the video was about. I've seen lots of pictures and a few videos from afar, but up close and personal is AMAZING. I think this video clip should be shown far and wide.
At the end I wasn't sure if his hand had been above the snow (hence why they found him so quickly) or if he came to a rest on his back with both arms upward but just below the surface. Would have been very interesting had the rescuers had helmet cams too.
Actually it might be helpful to track these guys down and get a first person narrative from them. This could be really effective in avy classes, as you mention.
YMMV. Viewer discretion is advised.
Quote on the website says that his glove came off his hand just before everything turned to concrete. That's why they were able to locate him so quickly and start digging the way they did -- because it marked just about exactly where he was laying.
Human Resources Memo: Floggings will continue until morale improves.