TRANSCIEVER, SHOVEL AND PROBE: MOUNTAIN WINTER SAFETY, AGAINST AVALANCHES.

TRANSCIEVER, SHOVEL AND PROBE: MOUNTAIN WINTER SAFETY, AGAINST AVALANCHES. Our MOUNTAIN GEAR section today focuses on a life-saving winter trilogy. And these three tools, when we enter uncontrolled snow areas, should be inseparable and essential for all.

True, in back-country skiing its use is widespread already, but not so among many of those who do classic mountaineering or even winter hiking. Our #patroncarrerasdemontana Iker, firefighter by profession and organizer of mythical skimo races like Altitoy reviews today the function of each element.

Gavarnie. Photo: @mayayo

TRANSCIEVER, SHOVEL AND PROBE:
WINTER MOUNTAIN SAFETY BY IKER MARTINEZ.

With the arrival of the first flakes there are many of us who start to get nervous to start practicing winter activity, whether it’s skiing, climbing on ice or doing other activity in the winter environment. Mountain skiers are mostly beginning to become aware of the use of existing systems to minimize the damage caused by entrapment in an avalanche and that will help us, as long as we have a good training to be quick in a possible rescue.

However, practitioners of other winter sports are not yet aware of it. In fact, in the US and Canada at the beginning of the season it is more common for avalanche victims to be climbers in their approaches to the tracks than mountain skiers. Here you can learn more about MOUNTAIN ACCIDENTS of all kinds and color, plus prevention and rescue systems.

To raise awareness and better about this material that we should all bring to the mountain in winter, we will start today by reviewing three basic and indispensable pieces that any mountain winter sports practitioner would always have to wear as they enter an uncontrolled snowy mantle.

Practices winter rescue. Photo: Guardia Civil.

AVALANCHE TRANSCIEVER: AVALANCHES VICTIM DETECTORS.

Today there are countless brands and models of these small electronic devices on the market that we must carry attached to the body and that will serve us enough to be detected in case of being victims of an avalanche, and to be able to rescue people trapped in them.

These devices emit a signal at a certain frequency (475 Hz). They must be at least 3 antennas and if possible with the possibility of detection of several simultaneous victims (multi-victim function). The latest models bring a variety of functions, but they all have something in common, they have to be intuitive and easy to use, but they require training and practice to be as fast as possible.

SHOVEL

We all imagine what its function is. Indeed, it is to “dig” to get the trapped person out as soon as possible. These are of various materials (aluminum, plastic, carbon…), but my advice is to choose one made out of aluminum and with at least two sections of handle, thenif needed it will be much more effective.
Of course the use of the shovel, although it seems easy, also requires training, since it has its technique.

AVALANCHE PROBE

The probe will be used when the transciever tells us the nearest place of the victim in a finer search and will point out the depth at which the victim is buried. There are, such as shovels of various sizes (length) and materials. Like the shovel my advice is that at least it has a length of 2.80, it should be made of aluminum and the union between the different sections in steel (torga) and not a cord, this is easier to break. Like the other two components of this trilogy we will also need to train and train in its use and assembly.

AVALANCHE TRANSCIEVER, SHOVEL AND PROBE: THE MUST HAVE WINTER TRILOGY.

IMPORTANT these 3 elements should ALWAYS be complementary, it is not worth carrying only one or two of them, you have to have the three together.

Also to say that taking them without knowing how to use them does not do much good, my advice is that people train both in the use of these tools and in prevention to avoid being surprised by an avalanche. There are several agencies that are dedicated to training this topic at different levels. ACNA (Association for Snow and Alludes Knowledge)

Below, ARVA transciever summary chart comparing rescue time with 1-2-3 tools. From 11 minutes to more than 60. From a 91% to less than 30% chance of survival. The cost of the complete kit can range from around 200-300 euros. You decide if it makes up for…

TO THE MOUNTAIN IN WINTER, SAFER IS FUNNIER.

These in my opinion are the basic and essential but we can always complement them with others, such as the AIRBAG (Backpack) and helmet to further minimize the consequences of an accident.

But remember to inform yourself before going out on the mountain, meteo, BPA (degree of danger), the people who accompany us, study well the terrain to which we go (ATESMAPS) and chart a good safe itinerary.
And of course heed the little clues that the mountain leaves us.

Turning around or even giving up on the activity if we don’t see it clearly doesn’t have to be scary, otherwise. The mountain will always be there.


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Read the original article by Iker Martínez, in Spanish HERE.
Post by Héctor Rubio for Trailrunningspain
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