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tazz

reality check

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WOW! crazy.... on the other hand, those are some funny sounds he makes when his friends are digging him out :lmao:

 

funny, I'm sure, to a kid who's too young to have a list of friends who didn't survive such incidents.

 

:tdown:

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Damn! That was a crazy video for sure. Watching the crack form as he is skiing down is just plain scary!

 

Good time to get the beacons out and do some practicing...

 

.

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The video puts to rest any idea that a skier can simply cut hard and "exit stage left" to escape the main body of a slide. You can tell he tries to do just that--before the mass easily takes him down and to the right. You can almost feel the helplessness in that video.

 

Also, I noticed the rescue digger has an avalung on. I wonder if the victim had one too?

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It seemed like the victim was breathing too regularly to not have an avalung on. He was under for over 5 minutes and had fairly deep breaths. I think the weird sounds were him trying to talk or cry. Damn scary stuff. In bounds, stay in bounds.

 

His buddies did a great job getting him out. good friends to have.

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Also, I noticed the rescue digger has an avalung on. I wonder if the victim had one too?

 

The sounds that you hear while he is buried (almost sounds like whimpering, which would also be appropriate) sounds a lot like the sound of someone breathing through an Avalung. The valve makes a slight squawking sound.

 

Scary video!

 

Edited to add:

 

Definitely had an Avalung:

 

black diamond

 

Oh yeah and there is that, too. ;)

Edited by S1W

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One of the in-bounds avalanches at Whistler last year involved a similar "POV" video, but the victim didn't survive. The coroner, RCMP officers and a few others had to watch it as part of their investigation. Apparently the last couple of minutes were pretty hard to sit through. Don't expect to see it on you-tube anytime soon, although it would probably make for a really powerful avi awareness message...

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What I find interesting is this tidbit from the text that accompanies the video:

 

"[They ...] did all the normal day-after-storm-cycle snow pit and snow quality tests."

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There is more info on what happened on the full link to the vimeo video:

 

"He had a Black Diamond Avalung on, but as you can tell from the video while he's talking as he's dropping in, it wasn't in his mouth to start. He tried to shove it in the instant of starting to get sucked down, but it didn't stay in fully during his ragdoll descent. It was just off to the corner of his mouth he said, and he definitely got some snow / ice in his mouth still."

 

...

 

"So as he drops in you can also see the sluff to the skier's right immediately start building....and that's actually the chute that was the intended route down. For whatever reason - well pure, unadulterated powder will do it to you - he didn't go make some strong 'skier cuts' into the upper pack to do one final snow check as instructed by the main guide who was doing the 'tail gunner' work.

 

Instead he just sent it. And it didn't take more than a few turns out on this big shoulder above this cliff band to break loose."

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WOW! crazy.... on the other hand, those are some funny sounds he makes when his friends are digging him out :lmao:

 

funny, I'm sure, to a kid who's too young to have a list of friends who didn't survive such incidents.

 

:tdown:

 

sorry.. I was intoxicated :cry:

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Here's the background story that accompanies the vid...

 

"In April of 2008 I drove from Lake Tahoe to Haines, Alaska up the Al-Can highway through British Columbia and the Yukon with an enclosed 4-snowmobile trailer and a ton of gear. I told myself the year before after a few years of getting shut out that other than for a surgical strike, last minute type of spot open for the weekend or something....that I'd only come up with sleds from now on instead of sitting around drinking myself into oblivion on a "down day."

 

Well thank God we did that because we definitely had down days again right from the get-go. The sledding up at Haines Pass is out of control good. Even staying closer to town like below Old Faithful is great. Can't say enough about how much fun it is to ride snowmobiles up there with no trees.

 

So the first legit day after that main snow storm cycle, we still went out snowmobiling one more time wanting to let the snow set up a bit more....while another part of our group went up in the bird. Actually two groups went up in the bird, and the first group did all the normal day-after-storm-cycle snow pit and snow quality tests.

 

The first group decided that while the dangers remained elevated, that it was good to go. They all made some of the sickest pow turns in their lives I was told. The next group then - a couple hundred meters or so over - set up for their descent.

 

The guy in the video was the first one to drop from their group and while not a guide, he had a lot of Utah and AK backcountry experience. He had a Black Diamond Avalung on, but as you can tell from the video while he's talking as he's dropping in, it wasn't in his mouth to start. He tried to shove it in the instant of starting to get sucked down, but it didn't stay. It was just off to the corner of his mouth he said, and he definitely got snow / ice build up as you'll see on the second sweep of the mouth by the guide after they get to him.

 

So as he drops in you can also see the sluff to the skier's right immediately start building....and that's actually the chute that was the intended route down. For whatever reason - well pure, unadulterated powder will do it to you - he didn't go make some strong "skier cuts" into the upper pack to do one final snow check as instructed by the main guide who was doing the "tail gunner" work.

 

Instead he just sent it. And it didn't take more than a few turns out on this big shoulder above this cliff band to break loose.

 

This was a decent sized avalanche. 1,500 feet the dude fell in a little over 20 seconds. The crown was about 1 - 1.5m. The chute that he got sucked through to the skier's right was flanked on either side by cliff bands that were about 30m tall. He luckily didn't break any bones and obviously didn't hit anything on the run out.

 

He was only buried for 4 and a half minutes which is incredibly short. I cannot stress these next sentences enough; that in and of itself to be unburied in ONLY 4:28 is miraculous if you have any understanding of being caught in an avalanche and what it takes to be found. It could literally be some kind of "world record" just on how good the guide and supporting cast of other skiers was in getting to him. It also shows why you should ALWAYS be going with people trained in avalanche rescue / first aid....as well as why you'd want to be going with a guided heli operation. Sure this was terrifying for him, but he would've probably been dead if not for going with a guide.

 

He also got very lucky to be honest. In the time that he's buried, you can hear his breathing already accelerate. The ruffling noise back and forth is his chest rising and falling and the noise that his jacket makes. The intermittent whimpering noise you hear is him trying to swallow and get some air since the avalung wasn't fully in his mouth and instead just to the corner of his mouth. Still sends chills up the back of my neck. Oh...the luck? They located him so fast because his right glove came off just before he came completley to rest and there was an excellent visual of course.

 

And then the digging out is utterly amazing. I don't think that you could've paid a Hollywood crew to stage something better. The fact that he could've been facing any 360 direction and yet he's looking right up into the sun-filled blue sky with that first full scoop away of the shovel is borderline spiritual.

 

This is simply a very sobering and unbelievable video. However, you should take away from this video all the positive things that you can learn from it. Yes there are risks to the backcountry - but with proper gear, training, and guide(s) with avalanche and EMT training - you can greatly lower your chances of getting caught in an avalanche in the first place.....and coming back alive if you ever were to get caught in a slide.

 

Respect Mother Nature for sure. Learn from this. But just like a Craig Kelly in the snowboard world or a Shane McConkey in the ski world who died out in the backcountry (Craig via avalanche and Shane via ski B.A.S.E. jumping), they left this earth while doing the things that they were truly passionate about. And while they would stress the need for the proper gear and training....neither one would want backcountry enthusiasts to curtail their adventures because of their accidents....or this video.

 

Please check with your local resort for classes on backcountry training, or try starting with a place like AIARE - the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Training. Their website is avtraining.org."

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That video gives me flashbacks to an incident in which I ended up being only partially burried from the waist down. Such a shitty feeling to feel that slab crack around you.

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