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Old 12-02-2012, 11:52 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Avalanche airbag - yes or no

I will begin by saying that I have taken an Avalanche 1 course but have forgotten most of it. So I will need to refresh. Secondly, although I post many things that make me sound like a beginner, most consider me a very good intermediate rider. I am a type A so I am a bit of a worry wart.

Now the mountain I love is Castle Mountain. Although I have a pass for Sunshine Village, I will go to Castle on every deep powder day. The area we like to snowboard is gated but controlled and inbounds. We will spend 99% of the day on these steeps during pow days. Yet there is hardly anybody back there 99% of the time.

Here is a map of the South Chutes which I am concerned with.


http://www.skicastle.ca/_cabinet/5/19/2012chutes.jpg


Here is a video of avalanche control on my favorite south chute run.
High Rustler Avalanche Control Jan 12, 2009 - YouTube

Here are some links about the 5 or so inbound avalanches they have every season:

Castle suffers first avalanche of the season | Local | News | Pincher Creek Echo

The Pincher Creek Voice: Avalanche hits grooming cat at Castle Mountain

So would you be rocking a beacon and tranceiver? Am I a moron for thinking about taking this expensive equipment into a resort?
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Old 12-02-2012, 11:54 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I think this is going to be a great and informative post!
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Old 12-02-2012, 04:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thank-you, thank-you and thank-you. I have a Dakine Helipack (thanks to rave reviews on this site). I can stuff the gear in there! Sounds like more overtime is in the works (18 hours in the last 2 days to pay for my new Hovercraft). Cheers!!
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Old 12-03-2012, 12:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If the area is actually controlled by ski patrol for avalanche danger, you probably don't need an airbag. Yes avalanches can happen even on controlled terrain, but it's pretty unlikely. Ski Patrols everywhere do an amazing job keeping the slopes safe. If you are ducking out of a gate to do some actual backcountry riding than an airbag is not a bad thing. An airbag likely saved a female in the tunnel creek avalanche event on Stevens Pass last year. Which is decidedly sidecountry accessed from the resort. There are several 20-24 liter models that are basically the size of a heli pro. So it'll work just fine for this sort of activity.
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