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Snow and avalanche 2017/18

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
primoz wrote:
I have no idea what's procedure on calling someone dead and who can do that,


It's a bleak topic but with the exception of devastating traumatic injury, it's rare to pronounce death on scene. The common phrase is that no one is dead until they're warm and dead. It's also widely reported that the number of deaths on the mountain has reduced for this reason, the assessment is deferred to ALS provider.

The revised ICAR (International Commission for Alpine Rescue) protocol reflects this, it's a little technical but the CPR/BLS (basic life support) intervention guidelines reflect an increased confidence in hospital (or even heli) provided ALS (advanced life support) which manifests as lower core temperatures and increased burial times for interventions.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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Had the fright of my life this morning when there were several large bangs (sounded like cannon fire) here in obertauern. I assume that was avalanche protection. A poor chap died here in an avalanche December apparently. Certainly brings it home.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Small avalanche at la tour Chamonix.

http://www.ledauphine.com/haute-savoie/2018/02/13/chamonix-un-pere-et-son-fils-pris-dans-une-petite-avalanche
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There appears to have been a very rare on piste avalanche fatality in Gavarnie on Tuesday. A small avalanche crossed a red piste and a 19 year old was found under the debris after 4 hours of searching by the rescue services. Investigation is underway but we probably won't hear much unless there is a court case.

I'd taken a week off to ski this week but have been laid up in bed with flu, but there seem to have been some nice conditions although high altitude rain is forecast for today, so end of powder below 2000m for us.
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primoz wrote:
I have no idea what's procedure on calling someone dead and who can do that.

UK ski instructors have to do a First Aid course every three years, these are often run by official Mountain Rescue people. I have been told that they can pronounce someone dead if the body is in multiple pieces, otherwise it is as ise wrote - "keep trying until they are warmed up at the hospital".
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Care needed in the Pyrenees at the moment. Several incidents over the last couple of days.

https://france3-regions.blog.francetvinfo.fr/pyrenees/2018/02/15/dans-les-pyrenees-le-risque-davalanche-est-fort-sur-lariege-et-la-haute-garonne.html
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Quote:

I have no idea what's procedure on calling someone dead and who can do that

From a first aid course with an emphasis on expeditions, the two scenarios were 'injuries incompatible with life' or 'prolonged absence of vital signs'. In the alps, with potential heli rescue possible within at most a few hours, you probably wouldn't declare the latter on the mountain.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
viv wrote:
Quote:

I have no idea what's procedure on calling someone dead and who can do that

From a first aid course with an emphasis on expeditions, the two scenarios were 'injuries incompatible with life' or 'prolonged absence of vital signs'. In the alps, with potential heli rescue possible within at most a few hours, you probably wouldn't declare the latter on the mountain.


That's the decision criteria to commence CPR most likely. Death is not typically pronounced (in the absence of obvious trauma) because it's extremely difficult to determine that there are no vital signs and advanced re-warming and ALS can be effective.

rjs wrote:
primoz wrote:
I have no idea what's procedure on calling someone dead and who can do that.

UK ski instructors have to do a First Aid course every three years, these are often run by official Mountain Rescue people. I have been told that they can pronounce someone dead if the body is in multiple pieces, otherwise it is as ise wrote - "keep trying until they are warmed up at the hospital".


Only medically qualified persons can pronounce death and record it. That won't include first aiders or SAR (other than doctors). They may take a decision to suspend treatment or not prolong it.
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mortonia wrote:
Care needed in the Pyrenees at the moment. Several incidents over the last couple of days.

https://france3-regions.blog.francetvinfo.fr/pyrenees/2018/02/15/dans-les-pyrenees-le-risque-davalanche-est-fort-sur-lariege-et-la-haute-garonne.html


BBC reporting a further three deaths, in Cauterets: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-43074380
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ecureuil wrote:
BBC reporting a further three deaths, in Cauterets: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-43074380


'Reporting' somewhat overstates what the BBC did there rolling eyes
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Two Americans caught in a slide in Galtur today

http://www.tt.com/panorama/unfall/14023037-91/zwei-amerikaner-in-galtr-von-lawine-erfasst-und-geborgen.csp
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
There was 2 avalanches in bansko on Wednesday
http://www.novinite.com/articles/187925/Snowboarder+Rescued+after+Avalanche+in+Bansko

2nd avalanche was quite small & caught 2 people, but they managed to stay surfaced & not get buried
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Ten hikers 'swept away' by avalanche in Switzerland
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Saw a note saying father and daughter killed in VDI today on a closed piste.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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@orange, closed because of avalanche risk. I mean, sad, but these restrictions are not put in place without good reason.
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Alastair wrote:
Ten hikers 'swept away' by avalanche in Switzerland


Sky News reporting the number of people missing has been dropped from 10 to 2.
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http://www.ledauphine.com/savoie/2018/02/18/val-d-isere-une-avalanche-dans-le-secteur-du-pisaillas

2 dead in Val d'Isere today, Father and 11 year old Daughter, skiing a closed run on Pisaillas.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Alastair wrote:

Sky News reporting the number of people missing has been dropped from 10 to 2.

Looks like good news, they've found them and they're not seriously hurt:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-43104323
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1 dead in Pirin Mountains - not Bansko resort itself
http://www.novinite.com/articles/188034/Avalanche+Killed+a+Young+Woman+in+Pirin
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Spent the day at Rellerli (Gstaad) the amount of fresh avalanche activity was striking. Very easy to see how folk could get into trouble on what appeared to be fairly benign terrain. I'm not sure what process had created the instability.
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Major storm cycle in the Pyrenees at the moment with over a meter of snow at altitude. Risk is back up to 5 tomorrow (principally natural avalanches, High risk of skier triggered avalanches) in a number of ranges with infrastructure at risk.
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Rogerdodger wrote:
Spent the day at Rellerli (Gstaad) the amount of fresh avalanche activity was striking. Very easy to see how folk could get into trouble on what appeared to be fairly benign terrain. I'm not sure what process had created the instability.


I don't know the situation in Gstaad but in the French Alps there was high altitude rain and fresh snow followed by a thaw over the weekend then sun on Sunday and this led to a lot of natural avalanche activity. I don't know the cause of the Val d'Isere slide - but the fact that the piste was closed and not due to lack of snow - shows that it was a risky prospect. These natural slides can occur on quite shallow terrain, compared to skier triggered slides but the danger is limited in scope: both in time and geography, so easier to avoid. If you do get caught in a wet natural slide they are apparently very hard to escape from... and they don't care if you have an airbag or not.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
davidof wrote:
I don't know the cause of the Val d'Isere slide - but the fact that the piste was closed and not due to lack of snow - shows that it was a risky prospect. These natural slides can occur on quite shallow terrain, compared to skier triggered slides but the danger is limited in scope: both in time and geography, so easier to avoid. If you do get caught in a wet natural slide they are apparently very hard to escape from... and they don't care if you have an airbag or not.


The Val slide was from the cliffs above the piste. This gets loaded up especially in any retour de l'est and when it goes, it falls some distance, then slides out across the piste. You can see the area if you pan right a bit on the Pisaillas web cam.
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