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Avalanche airbag - no guarantee for safety in the mountains

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
https://web.de/magazine/wissen/wissenschaft-technik/lawinenairbag-garantie-sicherheit-bergen-33531630
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@stanton, who ever suggested it was a guarantee?
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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?
under a new name wrote:
@stanton, who ever suggested it was a guarantee?


The ABS people suggested a "97.3%" survival rate for airbag users in their marketing. It is true, but gives people the wrong impression.

It is generally accepted that, if people do not change their habits (ie taking on more risk) then around half of fatalities would be saved by 100% airbag use.

Some more information here (from 2010)

http://pistehors.com/news/ski/comments/1004-avalanche-airbags-training-and-risk-homeostatis/

and a small graphic from The Avalanche Review



It is a tool that works best on open slopes, above the treeline on typical risk 3 days. Very good for off piste skiers skiing typical powder days in Alpine terrain.

As the airbag keeps you on the surface of the snow then in features such as cliff bands, woods, glades you can be carried into or over obstacles, faster, then you would without an airbag. Where there are terrain traps or the slide is large (typical on risk 4 days) the system can be overwhelmed.

As for why this is posted in "The Piste" who knows, unless Stanton wears an Airbag when piste skiing (quite a few people do I notice).
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
@under a new name,

I realised that ...

This is of more impotance to put it here..as folks start on piste
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@davidof, wearing the bag doesn't mean it's armed wink If they have the handle out though... then that's another thing snowHead
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Anyone know the success rate of Avi lung?
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@cameronphillips2000, Can be handy in tree wells.
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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!
I think of mine as being like the seat belt in my car. I really shouldn't need it, but if one day I am caught out by something unexpected, it may help save me. My primary survival tool is education.

Talk of getting avalanched off of cliffs or being deeply buried in terrain traps is a sign that you really shouldn't be in those areas, on that day, full stop.

There will always be a Darwinian element.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@bar shaker,

I also think wearing one encourages you to think about creeping increases in risk.
"should I fix/free the handle now?"
"why?"
"if I need to fix the handle, should I really be skiing this?"
I find it encourages a bit of discussion about the terrain, observations about the snow pack etc
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Quote:

wears an Airbag when piste skiing (quite a few people do I notice).


Don't you?
I often use pistes to get between off piste areas on powder days. I'll likely be wearing my ABS pack at those times. I won't wear it if I don't plan on skiing offpiste at some point in the day.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@jedster, I run through a mental check list when planning my routes and the terrain that I would consider safe for the day. I mostly ride lift/piste served areas so you will see me on piste with an airbag and the handle will be out. This means I can't forget to take the handle out, if I see something I like the look of. Otehr than one weekend each season, I mostly ride off piste alone.

On the lifts up, I will ask myself a series of questions. Will that area, aspect and gradient be safe today? Is there a risk of others (or nature) triggering above me? Could I trigger onto people below me?

I've only ever triggered one slide and it wasn't big enough to need a handle pull... in fact I didn't even get wiped out by it. It jigsaw'ed when someone else dropped in and traversed across close to me (nothing I could do to stop them!). I guessed it would happen and was able to ride out to a point of safety. The other rider out ran it down the hill Shocked The slab was shallow (boot deep), there was no terrain trap so I doubt it could have buried either of us.

Interestingly on my last trip, I ran down an easy slope that is always glorious after a big dump. It never slides before April and I hadn't taken out my handle. I was riding too fast and over loaded the turn when I wanted to head back towards the piste. In the ensuing swim my airbag self deployed. I kept to terrain that had zero risk, for the rest of the day. I definitely over compensated.
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