Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • olyclimber

      WELCOME TO THE CASCADECLIMBERS.COM FORUMS   02/03/18

      We have upgraded to new forum software as of late last year, and it makes everything here so much better!  It is now much easier to do pretty much anything, including write Trip Reports, sell gear, schedule climbing related events, and more. There is a new reputation system that allows for positive contributors to be recognized,  it is possible to tag content with identifiers, drag and drop in images, and it is much easier to embed multimedia content from Youtube, Vimeo, and more.  In all, the site is much more user friendly, bug free, and feature rich!   Whether you're a new user or a grizzled cascadeclimbers.com veteran, we think you'll love the new forums. Enjoy!
Sign in to follow this  
benb

Avy Safety???

Recommended Posts

During a recent hut trip, I brought up a question concerning something I was told in an avy 1 course. I was taught as I recall, to not probe for a victim. Find the lowest reading on my transceiver and begin digging. This makes perfect sense to me. The only thing that is going to save the buried is getting them air by moving snow.

 

Others in the group thought you should find your lowest reading, probe to try to find the victim and then begin moving snow. Seems like an added step, with the possibility of running someone through.

 

So dig to find alive people, probe to find dead people?????

 

Thought?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IMO- In most cases I'd skip the probe and just go right to digging. I tested this years ago with a chunk of plywood, I could always locate and unbury the wood faster with a shovel and no probing. The one exception to this would be huge slides, if the victim is burred 15 feet deep it might be quicker to probe before digging, although if the slide is that big the poor sap is probably a goner.

 

-Nate

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not many people carry 15 foot probes, but yes that makes sense. Most likely a body recovery at that point.

 

A big factor is how many people are searching. If you are alone, i also believe in the no probe just dig theory. But if more than one person, the secondary is probe in hand probing as you define your search. Just my opinion of course.

 

JL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regurgitating what I have read from the books and will probably learn again in my avy 1 course in two weeks...

 

The probe points you straight towards the victim once you hit them and it precludes the necessity to rescan with the beacon when your brain says "I should have hit the victim by now... maybe I should check again to make sure I'm in the right spot.

 

Also if you start digging and are off by even a half meter then you will have wasted a huge amount of time.

 

Furthermore, proper digging technique says that you should start digging downhill from the victim so you don't put weight on them and to remove snow faster. The probe depth gives you a good idea on how far back to start.

 

The entire probing step shouldn't take very long, maybe 30 seconds to a minute at most if you are quick and decent with a beacon.

Edited by RaisedByPikas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My electromagnetic flux line theory is pretty poor but ..... If the Avy beacon isn't laying flat but is tilted at a funky angle, isn't it possible to have your max reading not be directly above the beacon, but off to one side according to where the flux lines are concentrated?

 

In which case if you just started digging you might miss the victim entirely. But once you've located with a probe you know for sure.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Should I probe down hill also as to not put weight on the victim?

 

I guess depending on the size of group I am with, and how low the lowest transiever reading, other members of my group can probe while I dig.

 

That seems ok righ???? I know I can dig a very big hole in the time it takes someone to break out the probe and locate something. That said, I have not dug or probed much in avy debris.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Probe perpendicular to the snow surface, whatever that may be.

 

If you are good with your transceiver you should be striking within about 3 probes barring certain issues.

 

If you are able to dig a big hole by the time someone gets their probe out, they need some serious practice with their probe. It should be a 10 second affair.

 

Digging a deep hole in work-hardened snow accurately takes a lot of time and effort. You have to be on the money with where you dig, and with the probe in place on the strike you will have a target. You can't dig a hole straight down. You have to come in from the side.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A day of companion rescue practice will help illuminate these things. Most people don't practice often enough. Go to a Beacon Basin/Park for transceiver practice and then bury some beacons in backpacks and practice with the probe.

 

BCA Avalanche Education Stuff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have never not dug right to a burried transiever in practice.

 

That said, I do appreciate the advice and will practice with the probe more often. They for sure have value in certain situations.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't think of a reasonable situation where I wouldn't probe if the person is completely buried, even if they were buried very shallow. If the beacon says they are only .2 meters deep then you will have them out quickly anyway if they aren't head down so taking an extra 10 seconds to probe wont kill many brain cells.

Edited by RaisedByPikas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What RBPIKAS said. Always probe! Leave probe in, start digging 1 1/2 times the burial depth downhill. You do not want to be standing on the victims head while you are digging! Also you need a wide space to GENTLY roll the patient out. Think trauma! 25% of avy victims die from trauma. Kapman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A day of companion rescue practice will help illuminate these things. Most people don't practice often enough. Go to a Beacon Basin/Park for transceiver practice and then bury some beacons in backpacks and practice with the probe.

 

Don't many "beacon basins" require a probe of the target to stop the timer? Spring of a heavy snow year is good probe practice at the Campbell Basin (Crystal) beacon basin. Easily 1-2m deep burial.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Iain.

 

Thank you for that link. http://straightchuter.com/2010/12/to-probe-or-not-to-probe/

 

One factor in my thought process on probes use has to do with the way carbon probes function. When I’ve seen them in practice, they bend like noodles. It might work as a backup tent pole, but not precise location of someone buried 6 feet deep. The probe I have is a burly aluminum tube. It does go straitish into the snow. It will at least make it to the trail head, and if the group wishes, Ill pack it along. My poles also rig up as a short carbon probe.

 

IMO probing in a real life situation would take most people a lot more practice to be proficient at then using a modern transceiver. Probing at a beacon park is not the same as probing in avy debris. Practicing the real thing would be tough to set up.

Unless I am with avy pros, I would prefer my companions to start to dig.

 

That said, all of this would only happen if piss poor decisions were made previously.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
IMO probing in a real life situation would take most people a lot more practice to be proficient at then using a modern transceiver.

 

Are you kidding? Probing, avy debris or not, is pretty simple. If you've decent fine search skills with your "modern" beacon it shouldn't take you more than a couple probes; the probe is then your reference for digging <- this as iain said above.

 

Who'd you take your class with that told you not to probe?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having taught manufacturing technology, woodworking, and tool use for 10 years, and coaching ski racing, I have seen many people totally flub up “pretty simple” tasks. Even simple tasks need continual practice to achieve proficiency. Then you throw in an accident with adrenaline and fear, I think I like a transceiver guiding someone within .2 m of my core.

 

Say you probe a boot; you are now 6 feet from saving someone. Or a backpack that is not attached, or tree debris, or any other variable that could be in avy debris. You can’t tell me there are not variables that could lead to false or missed probe strikes/ wasted time

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you probe a boot then you are bad at probing assuming the person isn't buried feet up. I like the idea of a transceiver guiding someone to within .2m of my core so that they can quickly probe and start digging with the knowledge that they know I am at the tip of the probe. Just because you might hit other debris isn't a good reason for not probing.

 

You start probing at the minimum distance point shown on the beacon. This means you should hit their core within a few strikes if you have done your pinpoint search with the beacon correctly. I guarantee that having to adjust your digging strategy or rechecking your location after you start digging will cost more than the 30 seconds that it takes to probe.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can only find opinions of folks who fall into the camp of the no probe just dig theory.

All the published resources at my disposal clearly say to probe.

 

On the other hand I have seen plenty of text books that recommend processes that I have never seen or used in practice. Seems like if one text publishes it they all follow suit. Probing back in the day with my old ortovox M1 was for sure needed. There is no doubt that generation of transceivers led to modern rescue techniques, and statistics including probing practices.

 

On the other hand, probing should only take a few seconds, and would give one a target for digging, I can for sure see the benefit of that.

 

That said, I have seen first aid training and CPR practices change half a dozen times over the years. They have changed to make the process simpler to remember and eliminate human error in stressful emergency situations.

 

I did get a kick out of the fact that the Pieps I-Probe uses the transceivers signal for its functionality over a typical probe.

 

My wariness of probes may be due to the fact that from the beginning of time, they have been used to kill things not rescue them. It must be progress.

 

Thank you for all the food for thought.

 

Ben

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×