Category Archive: Avalanche

avalanche rescue tips, tricks & techniques

Dec 07 2014

Low budget, lightweight ‘clinometer

Hold it vertically, and eyeball it.

  Knowing the angle of the slope you’re on is important for bragging rights and avoiding avalanches. There are plenty of options available for measuring slope angle, with price usually providing an indication of accuracy. There is a new slope angle estimator heading to market that is a simple sticker that you apply to your …

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Nov 17 2014

Review: Buried  by Ken Wylie

Buried - reality & metaphor.

  Book signings are not the sort of thing to make headlines much, but the subject of Ken Wylie’s book entitled Buried is about his contribution and assessment of what is arguably the biggest headline in avalanche news in a hundred years, the tragedy on Tumbledown Mountain, January 20th, 2003. Seven people died in one …

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Jul 25 2014

Technique: Range set up for testing avy beacons

How the eye-in-the-sky views the beacon range for EYT.

  How do I test avy beacons, more properly known as avalanche transceivers? What follows is my range set up, some notes and illustrations for newbies to understand basic terminology and concepts, and my general procedures. From an overall perspective, I’m just going through some predefined motions to test limits. In terms of the real …

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Jul 21 2014

Technique: Dealing with bouncing avy beacons

Out of four models, the Pulse, v4.0 wins for accuracy. Other factors may be more important though.

Anyone who has practiced even a smidgen with their digital avalanche transceiver has noticed a bit of digital bounce. What is meant by this term is the error in the distance reading of an avalanche beacon. It shows up as the distance reading changing with each update, up and down around a number that, at …

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Mar 31 2014

Awesome April is here

Spring skiing extends the season - even with pow pow.

  This is the time of year when the wannabes fall away. Spring – when the snow alternates within hours from cold smoke to mashed potatoes. It’s the time of year when it’s icy in the morning, velvet corn in the afternoon. With the right conditions the weather warms for the day while the sun …

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Mar 10 2014

Project Zero launches Know the Snow Contest

Google Earth view of terrain where two were killed in an avalanche on Feb. 15, 2014.

  A recent post by a friend on Farcebook made me realize there are still an awful lot of people unwittingly relying on luck for survival when they head out of bounds for fresh tracks. He did a quick survey at the OB gate and found less than 10% of those going out had basic …

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Jan 22 2014

OR Report: BCA wins shoveling competition

Team BCA and Ortovox digging for dummies (to prove a point).

  Everybody hates a cocky athlete, but when they win, like Bill Johnson did in Sarajevo, you can’t be denying they might only be sharing their confidence before the event. So it turned out to be when BCA won the “Can You Dig It?” shoveling competition at the All Mountain event at Solitude resort. Results …

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