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#162144 - 02/14/12 11:27 AM Fatality despite avalanche bag
kevonionia Offline
member

Registered: 04/17/06
Posts: 1322
Loc: Dallas, TX
Colorado papers (The Denver Post) & (Telluride Daily Planet) had a story today about a backcountry skier snowboarder who died in an avalanche yesterday (2/13/12) despite wearing an avalanche air bag.



Not enough details on the how or why or brand, but this will probably drop the 97 percent survival rate touted by those who sell them. But no matter how this changes the stats, it certainly wouldn't stop me from wearing one if I was a serious backcountry skier who could afford one ($750 and up.)
_________________________
- kevon

(avatar: raptor, Lake Dillon)


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#162154 - 02/14/12 01:08 PM Re: Fatality despite avalanche bag [Re: kevonionia]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6400
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Considering that avalanches often contain large rocks and trees, as well as enormous weights of snow, I certainly don't believe the 97% hype! Air bags in the car are great in lower-speed crashes, but they certainly won't save you if you hit a semi head on at 70 mph!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#162166 - 02/14/12 04:04 PM Re: Fatality despite avalanche bag [Re: kevonionia]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
I'm thinking you might stand a better chance with a rapidly deployed base jumping chute to get you above it all if you are moving fast. Of course it would get ugly if you were standing still.

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#162174 - 02/14/12 05:14 PM Re: Fatality despite avalanche bag [Re: skcreidc]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
Given the objects described by OM, which is certainly correct, the 97% survival rate is ludicrous; gadgetry may help, but nothing is foolproof.

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#162180 - 02/14/12 06:08 PM Re: Fatality despite avalanche bag [Re: skcreidc]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
I tried explaining to my wife that IS MUCH SAFER to jump off of a mountain and squirrel suit down to parachute altitude, than to descend with ropes. Shes not buying it. She has forbidden me to squirrel suit, base jump, or go to an orienteering meet. sigh...

I recall some statistic about a large number of avolanche victims being wrapped around a trees or boulders and then crushed by a few million tons of moving ice. I think if that bag was big enough to keep you above the avolanche that you would die from rolling over a cliff.

Its sad to hear about another backcountry avolanche victim and my sympathies go to the family.
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#162186 - 02/14/12 08:43 PM Re: Fatality despite avalanche bag [Re: Jimshaw]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
Jim, now that our wives are finally used to us, they want us to be around for a while. laugh I guess you can't blame them. If you want to convince her of otherwise, don't show her Jeb Corless' latest video. He has a close encounter with some rock in his squirrel suit. They are still trying to graft skin to his body to cover the exposed muscle. Of course you could point out he is a "how close can I get" kind of guy. Hopefully he will have a full recovery.

Quote:
I tried explaining to my wife that IS MUCH SAFER to jump off of a mountain and squirrel suit down to parachute altitude, than to descend with ropes. Shes not buying it. She has forbidden me to squirrel suit, base jump, or go to an orienteering meet. sigh...


I do have to say that I don't think I would put squirrel suit, base jumping, and orienteering all in the same category. I AM thinking of the right kind of orienteering, right?

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#162195 - 02/15/12 01:44 AM Re: Fatality despite avalanche bag [Re: skcreidc]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
I have no claim of any expertise, but after looking at the videos of these bags and having seen videos of some big avalanches, it seems to me they are kind of like helmets-useful under some circumstances, but no protection from crush injuries. Some fights are unwinnable. A really big avalanche is probably one of them.

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Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#162334 - 02/16/12 05:45 PM Re: Fatality despite avalanche bag [Re: skcreidc]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
I shattered my leg at an orienteering meet. It ended my climbing carear.
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#162358 - 02/17/12 04:15 AM Re: Fatality despite avalanche bag [Re: Jimshaw]
kevonionia Offline
member

Registered: 04/17/06
Posts: 1322
Loc: Dallas, TX
So Jim, take some time and tell us the story.
_________________________
- kevon

(avatar: raptor, Lake Dillon)


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#162371 - 02/17/12 12:20 PM Re: Fatality despite avalanche bag [Re: Jimshaw]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
Jeez Jim...I'm sorry to hear that frown . Yes, as Kevon said please take some time and put that episode to words. So you cannot climb anymore at all? But you are able to cross-country ski and get some cardio in (which is important) on a regular basis?

Given that, I can see where your wife is coming from.


Edited by skcreidc (02/17/12 12:22 PM)
Edit Reason: last sentence

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#162389 - 02/17/12 07:09 PM Re: Fatality despite avalanche bag [Re: Jimshaw]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Fifteen years ago I was in the top climbing and ski mountaineering condition of my life. A friend invited me TO an orienteering meet and told me that I would not need spiked shoes - NEVER MIND THAT I RACED IN THE YELLOW CLASS. mad So anyway I ran down a hill in a redwood grove, tripped, turned 2 cartwheels (still trying to stay on my feet) then my foot jambed under a redwood tree and my leg wrapped around it, in the direction that legs normally do not bend.

Fortunately it was in a state park and a ranger could drive to within 100 feet of me. Several people helped me into the rangers truck. The TOTALLY INCOMPITENT doctors at the meet said it was a sprain and signed a release for the ranger. At 10 pm I went into SHOCK at home.

I was in an Elazarov device - like you see on peoples necks and head - rings, screws, bolts etc, FOR 12 WEEKS. I could bend my knee that had 3 screws and 8 piano wires through it putting about 2 tons of internal force holding the bones together without a cast.

My knee is much better and 15 years later I finally can run 100 feet. smile I can walk and climb now, so I'm gonna go climb the Cascades peaks 25 miles west of me this summer - South Sister here I come.

I'm really much more of a rock climber than an alpine climber and I live 30 miles from Smith Rock - maybe second to Yosemite as north American climbing spot. I do own all the alpine gear including marmot suits that fit me again... smile I always said that when I got back into shape to use the gear, it would fit. I also hope to finally make the pilgrimage to Smith this summer and get back into rock climbing. I own all of the gear, so now I mostly solo without the rest of the gear.

Oh yes NEVER STEP ON A LOG OR LIMB LAYING AT AN ANGLE ON A HILLSIDE - IT COULD BE SLIPPERY - YOU COULD BREAK A LEG. STEP OVER INSTEAD. IF YOU DO STEP ON THAT LOG, USE THE FRONT PART OF YOUR BOOT, NOT THE MIDDLE. OH AND NEVER RUN IN THE WOODS.
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#162404 - 02/17/12 09:33 PM Re: Fatality despite avalanche bag [Re: Jimshaw]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
Quote:
My knee is much better and 15 years later I finally can run 100 feet. smile I can walk and climb now, so I'm gonna go climb the Cascades peaks 25 miles west of me this summer - South Sister here I come.


I'm glad of that. It sounds like its been a long time coming.

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#162761 - 02/25/12 10:37 AM Re: Fatality despite avalanche bag [Re: kevonionia]
HGodling Offline
newbie

Registered: 03/01/11
Posts: 1
Loc: Virginia
I saw an article today about these avalanche airbags in Outside and thought I'd share.

http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-adventure/the-gist/Blowing-Up.html?page=1

Appearntly the 97% statistic comes from a Swiss study. However, the rate of fatalities due to tramau is much higher here in the US (~25%) and Canada (~50%) then in Europe (~6%).

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