Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Millstatt, Austria
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Totally sad story- got me thinking though, if I found myself in an avalanche what would I do? Is there any general advice? Keep riding down straight or to the side- when it hits are you just toast or what? I'm sure the best practice is avoidance and awareness- but assuming by whatever circumstances you got some snow sheeting off above you- what's next?
Found this from an avalanche awareness website, kinda dreary-
If you are in over your head (not near the surface), try to maintain an air pocket in front of your face using your hands and arms, punching into the snow. When an avalanche finally stops, you may have only a few seconds before the snow sets up and hardens. Many avalanche deaths are caused by suffocation, so creating an air space is one of the most critical things you can do. Also, take a deep breath to expand your chest and hold it; otherwise, you may not be able to breathe after the snow sets. To preserve air space, yell or make noise only when rescuers are near you. Snow is such a good insulator they probably will not hear you until they are practically on top of you.
Above all, do not panic. Keeping your breathing steady will help preserve your air space and extend your survival chances. If you remain calm, your body will be better able to conserve energy.