Saturday, October 10, 2009

The inflatable avalanche pack

Here is an important topic, never ending preseason high pressure system or not. This is a “new” thing that has been in progress for the last ten years or so in Europe. I hear that at Lech, Austria the entire ski patrol is equipped with these.
These packs are designed to help the avalanche victim “float” on top of the avalanche in order to avoid being buried (it is a bit more complex than that but more on that later). Due to the human body’s density that is greater than snow’s and the dynamics of the avalanche, about half of the avalanche victims are buried. Statistics show that of that number about 66% die. Something to think about…
As far as I understand there are two main vendors of these packs; ABS Avalanche Packs out of Fieberbrunn, Austria and Snowpulse SA out of Verbier, Switzerland (if anyone out there knows about more product, please let me know).I happen to think that this is a very strong concept. Statistics (again) show that about 98-99% of avalanche pack users survived the avalanches they got to ride. I have decided I am going to get me one of those but considering this thing is potentially mission critical (as in not dying just yet) and will lighten my purse by about $1,000, I am going to do my “due diligence” (i.e. research it to death before making a decision, I have some time, the season hasn’t started yet). I am going to share my findings here. More on that on future posts, stay tuned...

1 comment:

  1. Does anyone know if there is an inflatable adapter type of thing that you can attach to your regular pack and have it inflate in a slide? I feel as though one of those could be made cheaply and be compatible with just about any pack, and cost ninety percent less.