Thursday, March 3, 2011

Avalanche pieps (beacon) training

A lot of snow, nice weather, free's time to go out on skis ! I like to go back-country skiing, that means going up by our how way, with the skis "randonnée" (like I explained in an article before). 
It's amazing but you have to be careful for the avalanches !
The way to be safe is to stay at home (but that's boring) so if you want to go it's important to know more about the snow, to follow some lessons, or the experience, or ask to experienced persons.

On way of preventing avalanches is to know the snow, but that's a very difficult part, it takes a long time to know is there is more or less risk of avalanches. The other one is the inclination of the slope, until 25° there are less avalanches.  (on this site you can find oh to appreciate the inclination of a slope with your sticks or with a compass ).

When you have get some info, and you know that the risk is low there are other tests you can do once at the skiing area (the test of Rutschblock or the test of Faarlung) but these test are only additional infos to complete the other you already had. 
Even if the risk is very low, there can always be an avalanche, with a very low risk or on a not step slope at all.
That's why you have to be prepared with you beacon (pieps), your probe and you shovel. (the three goes hand in hand)

To know how to use your beacon, probe and shovel correctly there is only one way! go training! That's what was doing yesterday with Mathilde. 
How does it work ? to train one hides the beacon under the snow somewhere in a big area the second one comes with his beacon on research mode, and try go get a signal. One he get a signal he will by sound or numbers (meters) find where the other beacon is hidden. Once he is sure he is on the right place, he will mark the point and take his probe. 
Then you will perpendicularly to the slope push the probe in the snow to locate your victim (the bag here).
You will push it every 20 cm in snail form until you located your victim.

Then it's time to take your shovel to go back one meter, and to start digging. 
The way of using you shovel is up to you, you just have to be careful to throw the snow far enough to not fall in your hole (of course :) )

To know more about, you can try this instructive and funny game....Enjoy ! :

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