Winter Snow Sport Gear
Winter Hiking & Snowshoeing
Backpacking Forums
backcountry gear

---- Our Gear Store ----
The Lightweight Gear Store

Bivy Bags
Sleeping Bags
Sleeping Pads
Snow Sports
Winter Kitchen


Avalanche Gear
Hats, Gloves, & Gaiters


Ultralight Backpacks
Ultralight Bivy Sacks
Ultralight Shelters
Ultralight Tarps
Ultralight Tents
Ultralight Raingear
Ultralight Stoves & Cookware
Ultralight Down Sleeping Bags
Ultralight Synthetic Sleep Bags
Ultralight Apparel

the Titanium Page
WM Extremelite Sleeping Bags


Sleeping Bags


Ropes & Cordage
Protection & Hardware
Carabiners & Quickdraws
Climbing Packs & Bags
Big Wall
Rescue & Industrial






Men's Footwear
Women's Footwear


Mens Apparel
Womens Apparel


Black Diamond
Granite Gear
La Sportiva


Top Brands
All Brands

 Backpacking Equipment 

Sleeping Bags
Water Treatment

 Backcountry Gear Clearance

Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#125312 - 12/15/09 11:11 PM Video: Skier caught in avalanche
midnightsun03 Offline

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
This is a "must see" for anyone going out into the high backcountry in winter!

The skier had an Avalung, and, apparently, his beacon turned on!
YMMV. Viewer discretion is advised.

#125326 - 12/16/09 08:22 AM Re: Video: Skier caught in avalanche [Re: midnightsun03]
Dryer Offline

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3583
Loc: Texas
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.
paul, texas KD5IVP

#125340 - 12/16/09 11:46 AM Re: Video: Skier caught in avalanche [Re: Dryer]
midnightsun03 Offline

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
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.

#125362 - 12/16/09 04:37 PM Re: Video: Skier caught in avalanche [Re: midnightsun03]
300winmag Offline

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1342
Loc: Nevada, USA
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."

#125365 - 12/16/09 05:12 PM Re: Video: Skier caught in avalanche [Re: 300winmag]
midnightsun03 Offline

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
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.

#126228 - 01/03/10 04:43 PM Re: Video: Skier caught in avalanche [Re: midnightsun03]
Keith Offline

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1666
Loc: Michigan's Upper Peninsula
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.


Shout Box

Highest Quality Lightweight Down Sleeping Bags
Western Mountaineering Sleeping Bags
Lite Gear Talk - Featured Topics
DWR and Trail Runners
by Bill Kennedy
07/01/18 03:19 AM
Montrail hiking shoe replacement???
by Keith
06/30/18 11:11 PM
Trail Running shoes with good support
by pdslates
06/14/18 03:48 PM
Backcountry Discussion - Featured Topics
Leaving a Mark
by balzaccom
07/10/18 09:32 PM
Maximizers vs Sufficers in backpacking
by Pika
06/29/18 12:34 PM
Alice Pak
by Capt hook
06/21/18 01:13 PM
Make Your Own Gear - Featured Topics
drying socks while hiking
by AtlantaBill
06/28/18 03:28 PM
Quilt question
by PaHiker
06/28/18 12:14 PM
New Pack Finished
by Bill Kennedy
06/27/18 05:39 AM
Featured Photos
Breakneck Ridge, New York
May 2012 Eclipse, Lassen Park
New Years Eve 2011
Trip Report with Photos
Seven Devils, Idaho
Oat Hill Mine Trail 2012
Dark Canyon - Utah
Who's Online
2 registered (), 38 Guests and 0 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
Slate, AtlantaBill, Farley, Capt hook, dhri
12595 Registered Users
Forum Links
Site Links
Lightweight Gear Store
Backpacking Book Store
Lightweight Zone
Hiking Essentials

Our long-time Sponsor, - The leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear:

Backcountry Forum

Since 1996 - the Original Backcountry Forum
Copyright © The Lightweight Backpacker &