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2020/2021 Avalanche Information

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@davidof, that’s very cool tech Happy
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davidof wrote:
Alastair Pink wrote:


Yes the Wolfhound device was new to me as well. Your pistehors report on the development trials was from 10 years ago, so possibly it took some years for it to be adopted by the French S&R teams, or perhaps it has been in use for a number of years now?


I had some trouble when I wrote the original article as it was still a 'secret défense' in France and the article had to be checked over by the authorities to make sure I wasn't leaking any sensitive information. Diginext, who were manufacturing one of these devices at the time were pretty pissed I knew about it.

In my job I've worked on some other secret squirrel stuff since then including a system used by the gendarmerie a bit like in the TV series "Person of Interest"


It's moved a little since then, the wolfhound unit is a fairly modest expense now, around 2500-3000 €. And unlike the diginext, this is not an IMSI capture device. The primary use case is to detect phones in restricted environments. It should work at about 100m and it won't attenuate a lot through snow. It will work best with an active source, including some other non-phone sources, so you'll likely do best by calling the phone you're trying to find. For context, it's handheld at around 2kg.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
ise wrote:
It's moved a little since then, the wolfhound unit is a fairly modest expense now, around 2500-3000 €. And unlike the diginext, this is not an IMSI capture device.


Ah, that's interesting to know about it not using the IMSI capture principle. Presumably then it's just a highly directional receiver looking to detect transmissions from any mobile phone (in which case I assume other mobile phones in the vicinity would need to be switched off during the search)?
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BobinCH wrote:
More on thé Val d’Isere snow shoers
https://welove2ski.com/ski-holiday/alive


If I understand this correctly the husband was buried under 2.5m of snow for 40min and they still got him out alive - wow he was ruddy lucky.
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DB wrote:
BobinCH wrote:
More on thé Val d’Isere snow shoers
https://welove2ski.com/ski-holiday/alive


If I understand this correctly the husband was buried under 2.5m of snow for 40min and they still got him out alive - wow he was ruddy lucky.


2h 40m. I think the wolfhound was deployed by a PGHM unit that flew in so it all takes time.

Alastair Pink wrote:
ise wrote:
It's moved a little since then, the wolfhound unit is a fairly modest expense now, around 2500-3000 €. And unlike the diginext, this is not an IMSI capture device.


Ah, that's interesting to know about it not using the IMSI capture principle. Presumably then it's just a highly directional receiver looking to detect transmissions from any mobile phone (in which case I assume other mobile phones in the vicinity would need to be switched off during the search)?


yes & yes, not just mobile phones, it'll get DECT phones for example in case your house gets avalanched, which given they're activating evacuation plans around the alps is a real thing.
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@ise, sounds like a useful bit of kit. Cool
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ise wrote:

2h 40m. I think the wolfhound was deployed by a PGHM unit that flew in so it all takes time.


Do you know if it's the searching or the helicopter deployment that takes the time?
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DB wrote:
ise wrote:

2h 40m. I think the wolfhound was deployed by a PGHM unit that flew in so it all takes time.


Do you know if it's the searching or the helicopter deployment that takes the time?


They had about 100 rescuers. Normally there's an initial "hasty" response team who would hope to do a spot pickup and transfer to a helicopter or other evacuation. It varies between countries but that's fairly normal. They'll escalate and call other resources as required. In this case I'd assume they would have been bringing dogs in as well.

This may have been one of the first times they've used a wolfhound device in an avalanche. It's pretty cheap so the manufacturer may get a few orders.
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DB wrote:
ise wrote:

2h 40m. I think the wolfhound was deployed by a PGHM unit that flew in so it all takes time.


Do you know if it's the searching or the helicopter deployment that takes the time?


There was no heli due to weather. They had to drive up from BsM. It seems they tried normal search (but he had no Arva) and with dogs. After no success they tried the Wolfhound which had never been used before for avi rescue. All 100 rescuers had to turn their phones off and miraculously they got a signal! More details here if you can read French

https://france3-regions.francetvinfo.fr/auvergne-rhone-alpes/savoie/bourg-saint-maurice/c-est-un-miracle-enseveli-sous-une-avalanche-un-randonneur-retrouve-vivant-au-bout-de-2h40-de-recherches-1929676.html?fbclid=IwAR331ikgdRmJ9Pqw6V8sarbfe_LH0guqbQlsG1ltC4UNDO_xVsU9YMxfjfI





That’s deeeep. Must have somehow created an air pocket?
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This technology must have developed significantly during the last 3 or 4 years.
I distinctly recall the case of the British chap lost above Tignes, there was talk of trying to fix/locate his position from his mobile. At that time they never achieved success.
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@BobinCH, thanks for that report. My French not being that fluent I was slightly amused at the phrase that the person equipped with the Wolfhound device began to "quadriller la zone", I realised that it must have a slightly different meaning than performing an 18th Century court dance....
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Rogerdodger wrote:
This technology must have developed significantly during the last 3 or 4 years.
I distinctly recall the case of the British chap lost above Tignes, there was talk of trying to fix/locate his position from his mobile. At that time they never achieved success.


I believe that he was lost and there was no real fixed point to start a search so they would rely on cell triangulation presumably which is not accurate. Yesterday there's a more limited search field but it's still a painstaking job. No doubt it would be possible to mount something on a drone and automate a grid. You might equally do as well with dogs.
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Rogerdodger wrote:
This technology must have developed significantly during the last 3 or 4 years.
I distinctly recall the case of the British chap lost above Tignes, there was talk of trying to fix/locate his position from his mobile. At that time they never achieved success.


they were probably using cell tower triangulation, which in the mountains is very inaccurate but has nevertheless been used to help locate avalanche victims.

You can also connect to the phone and if it has a gps, turn it on and get a gps fix but they already knew where this guy was more or less.

The device I mentioned, the Pic2G/3G and the Wolfhound as well as Recco work in the same way to locate mobile phones - a directional aerial and signal strength but you already have to be close to the victim. 500 meters max is what diginext told me for a 2 meter burial. If the victim in this incident was under 3 meters then that could be quite a bit less. I'm surprised the couldn't get a fix with their Recco devices, assuming they were used. The Pic2G, Wolfhound etc are optimized for cell phone transmissions (just as an avalanche beacon works on 457khz signals) rather than just general electronic echos like the Recco. The advantage with devices that also have an IMSI catcher is that you can communicate with a victim if they can answer their phone - a big issue in mountain rescue where cell coverage is often poor but they are bulky and expensive.
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You know it makes sense.
Interesting story about the possible cause of the Dyatlov mystery and likely avalanche implications:

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2021/01/has-science-solved-history-greatest-adventure-mystery-dyatlov/
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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Duplicate


Last edited by Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name: on Fri 29-01-21 11:32; edited 1 time in total
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 Poster: A snowHead
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davidof wrote:
I'm surprised the couldn't get a fix with their Recco devices, assuming they were used.


Always thought you needed some sort of Recco transmitter (e.g. sewn into clothing) for a Recco receiver to work.


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Fri 29-01-21 11:22; edited 1 time in total
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BobinCH wrote:
DB wrote:
ise wrote:

2h 40m. I think the wolfhound was deployed by a PGHM unit that flew in so it all takes time.


Do you know if it's the searching or the helicopter deployment that takes the time?


There was no heli due to weather. They had to drive up from BsM. It seems they tried normal search (but he had no Arva) and with dogs. After no success they tried the Wolfhound which had never been used before for avi rescue. All 100 rescuers had to turn their phones off and miraculously they got a signal! More details here if you can read French


Thanks but my French is as good as Del Boy's, it's not exactly Crème de la menthe.

(Je ne parle pas français).
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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 Pink wrote:
@BobinCH, thanks for that report. My French not being that fluent I was slightly amused at the phrase that the person equipped with the Wolfhound device began to "quadriller la zone", I realised that it must have a slightly different meaning than performing an 18th Century court dance....


"To quater the area" - They mean search, but in practice I beleive it would be used like a recco or lod school analog tranciver. No direction, just signal strenght. So you use the cross method and keep turning down the sensitivity as you get closer.
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DB wrote:
davidof wrote:
I'm surprised the couldn't get a fix with their Recco devices, assuming they were used.


Always thought you needed some sort of Recco transmitter (e.g. sewn into clothing) for a Recco receiver to work.


Idealy, but they will get a signal off any electronic device (swiched on orr off dosen't matter), ski edges and bindings, even keys or a mettal zipper will get some reflection.
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DB wrote:
davidof wrote:
I'm surprised the couldn't get a fix with their Recco devices, assuming they were used.


Always thought you needed some sort of Recco transmitter (e.g. sewn into clothing) for a Recco receiver to work.


Isn't the Recco strip sewn into clothing just a simple reflector, and the Recco search instrument transmits a pulse and receives the signal back from the reflector (same principle as Radar).?
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Edinburgh Pentlands issued with SECOND warning after new avalanche strikes beauty spot
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Rogerdodger wrote:
If the victim in this incident was under 3 meters then that could be quite a bit less. I'm surprised the couldn't get a fix with their Recco devices, assuming they were used.
.

They will have had a handheld Recco as they are standard equipment, but doubt they had the larger (luggable) one. Having trained on the handheld, you might get 3m to a dedicated reflector if you are lucky. I wouldn't expect it to work form what I have seen.
They don't have much range - 20m was the best we could get on the surface in Ideal conditions! In this situation there should have been some skilled operators. BUT most people can't get them to work very well as you need to use them like an old school non directional analog tranciver, quite a specific skill set these days.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
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Alastair Pink wrote:
DB wrote:
davidof wrote:
I'm surprised the couldn't get a fix with their Recco devices, assuming they were used.


Always thought you needed some sort of Recco transmitter (e.g. sewn into clothing) for a Recco receiver to work.


Isn't the Recco strip sewn into clothing just a simple reflector, and the Recco search instrument transmits a pulse and receives the signal back from the reflector (same principle as Radar).?


Yes I think "reflector" not "transmitter" is the right word, probably should have used that universal technical term "thingy".
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I suspect that the proximity of that tree to the casualty may have helped to create an airway or air pocket.
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Weathercam wrote:
.......If we get the snow-fall that is forecast will be interesting to hear if they do any control given the number of people ski-touring in resort, but I've not heard any since New Years and now that the resort will not open is PIDA also not happening?.......


And now we have; Boom, boom - always makes the dogs jump Laughing
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Looking at the pics, this guy is so lucky, he may well have been caught close to or in a tree-well.
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Quote:

I suspect that the proximity of that tree to the casualty may have helped to create an airway or air pocket.


After posting this I spotted on Steve Angus's Val D' blog that the guy had apparently tried to take cover behind a tree as the slide engulfed them from above.
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Avalanche control at Courchevel this morning.

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Massive slab backside Mont Fort
https://www.instagram.com/p/CKrUYPCHaul/?igshid=1p7kd01i9xw12
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The Rock Garden slab from last week where a guide died. Apparently his avalanche pack was ripped off him and found at the surface. He was found 2 hours later buried under 4m of snow Shocked
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 Poster: A snowHead
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Wow...fekkin hell...just wow... Shocked Shocked
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Crazy slab in Stubai Alps as well
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Another one just went in Kamikaze. 2 local boys. Found the bloke at the bottom,no skis but unharmed. Crazy
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Just crazy. Airbag saved the guy. Not a bruise on him...






Kamikaze


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@Charlieehr, I *think* this is from the one in Kühtai that I saw yesterday. More info on the Innsbruck thread.
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BobinCH wrote:
The Rock Garden slab from last week where a guide died. Apparently his avalanche pack was ripped off him and found at the surface. He was found 2 hours later buried under 4m of snow Shocked


Poor sod had no chance.
Couldn't help thinking if the crotch strap broke or it wasn't being used. Confused
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Not on the same scale but came upon this today. Apparently from yesterday.

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Avalanche in the Petit Galibier West today


http://youtube.com/v/B6roTZu7z4Q

A skier was killed on the valley behind earlier in the winter and a Grenoble man was killed in a slide in Pic Blanc du Galibier sector at 1pm. Reports of remotely triggered avalanches going off all over the area.
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davidof wrote:
Avalanche in the Petit Galibier sector today

A Grenoble man was killed in a slide in the same sector at 1pm. Reports of remotely triggered avalanches going off all over the area.

It's been coming down everywhere the last few days. This is Karellis.
I took this pic at lunchtime from the opposite side of the valley. I don't know when it came down and don't know if it was by PITA or not. The fracture lines on both the sunny part and in the shade show the snow depth must've been at least 3m at that point. Worrying if all that can go naturally but having seen the Petit Galibier one I guess it can.
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From a safety point of view, wouldn't it be best if most of the weak layers failed in the next few days, (whilst the warnings are 5/5, and nobody ought to be in those areas)?

Thus giving new snow on those slopes the chance of bonding, and allowing safer skiing for the remainder of the season?
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