Snowboarding Forum - Snowboard Enthusiast Forums banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I read about the Avalanche forecaster in Utah who sadly was caught in an avalanche recently.

I've snowboarded a good 20 years and probably had put myself at risk literally many 100's of times.. I now ride with an airbag every time I hit the backcountry and any day it's more than 5 inches or so in resort. I pretty much only ride off-piste in resort

I watch a hell of a lot of vids on Youtube and to be honest am getting more and more cautious because of these vids. Although I'm still taking risks I try and mitigate them as much as possible.

So I Came across this Vid that is calling ABS research a scandal. I can pretty much get the idea of their argument from the vid, but don't know a word of German.

Does anyone here ? anything substantially said??? Interesting that someone would put something so negative about ABS in such a detailed video. Suspect it has to do with a personal experience, loss of a friend... or perhaps just being shafted by the company?

ABS-Airbag-Skandal. - YouTube
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
it just wants to tell you, that abs and it`s austrian rep ( oeav) is lying in his advertisements.

first part:
tests in 1995 showed, that 10 of 11 dummies got burried at least 1m below the snow, and 1 of the abs-systems didn`t work at all..
the slf-institut says: in most test the ballons are still visible on the surface, but with a little more snow, they would be burried too...

after that, the video tells you, that in some magazine the rep of abs wrote that 7 dummies could be found unburried, wich is not correct as the slf told that 8 dummies where completly burried.

the rep only published a pic of one unburried dummie, because he was taken so far down the slope, that the snow was only 20cm deep there. so the dummie had no chance to get burried at all.

the slf`s outcome of the test is: the ballon makes the dummies go down. so the dummies get burried because the ballon tears them down to the snow.


after that, some real avalance-accident-reports are showed. the rep ( oaev) says, all survived because they where not burried very deep because of the abs-backpack.
the slf says, they survived because of the ridingpartners. they saved the lives of the burried persons. all of the burried people were not able to get out of the snow by their self but only with the help of their buddys.

after that they show you a new test with the following outcome: 1 dummie with abs didn`t got burried, but the dummie next him without an abs also!

1 ballon got broken and the dummie was burried, 2 dummies with abs got completly burried deeper than 50 cm, with no chance to get on the surface by their own.

some dummies without abs didn`t get burried as deep as the ones with abs...
all these facts were not published by the oeav till today!!! they say that 80% of all persons with abs would survive, wich is not true ( says the slf)

at the end of the video comes some explanations how the oeav made their test to come to such a positive outcome...

at the very end the video tells you, that also an airbagsystem can`t help against the big following snowmasses that come down at the end of an avalance and the deepest burried person with abs till today was found 3m under the surface.

the finishing sentence is: how honest has advertisement to be when it`s all about personal security and live-saving!


sorry for my crappy english, but i hope it helps you a bit!

p.s.: this translation was made without the help of the google-translator!:yahoo:
 

·
Veteran Member
Joined
·
11,555 Posts
Interesting, but it seems that study has a bit of an axe to grind. I will admit ABS has inflated (ha) their results, but I am confident airbags do make a big difference. Wari did a hell of a lot of studies designing their bags. It looked fun for sure. Terrain traps, popping the bag, all of that is a concern. An airbag does not mean you can ride whatever you want. Terrain of consequence like mentioned above are still a problem.

Bruce Tremper of the Utah Avalanche Center put up an excellent blog post about the effectiveness of airbags. I think this is about the most accurate assessment of them out there at this point. Check it out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
think you`re right with this.

i think it`s right that having an abs system is better than not to have one.

but everybody should also know: getting in an avy with with only having the abs makes no difference to not having an abs. the chances to die are almost the same without a pieps and friends/ other people with receiver, probes and shovels!

seems like a lot of people just count on that abs backpack, not knowing anything else about backcountry-safety.

last season it feels like more people in the alps died, because they thought they are safe just because of their abs-backpacks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
393 Posts
Seems to me that if it might help you survive, even only increasing survival by a marginal percentage, it is worth wearing.
 

·
Veteran Member
Joined
·
11,555 Posts
It seems to be a significant increase. Lets not forget Tunnel Creek where the only survivor that went for a ride deployed an airbag and of course Xavier De La Rue. It is worth noting that both needed assistance but were found at the surface of the snow not underneath it.

Maybe it is a European attitude, most people here in the states are adding an airbag to their standard equipment arsenal. Beacon, Shovel, Probe, then airbag. All of it is a last ditch effort if everything goes wrong. I don't know anyone that just goes out with an airbag alone, but I also wouldn't be surprised if there are around here. The damn things were over hyped the past couple of years without a doubt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
393 Posts
It seems to be a significant increase. Lets not forget Tunnel Creek where the only survivor that went for a ride deployed an airbag and of course Xavier De La Rue. It is worth noting that both needed assistance but were found at the surface of the snow not underneath it.
No, fair enough. I wasn't actually commenting on the actual increase related to airbags. I was simply making a general point that if something may help me survive, even if it gives me just a small edge, I've no problem wearing it.

As you say, the airbag looks to be pretty effective. The tunnel creek thing convinced me alone. I remember the woman, Elyse Saugstad, saying something about being embarrassed that she pulled the airbag chord in a panicky moment, thinking that all the other experienced guys would laugh at her after. I guess that says something about airbag perception in general.
 

·
Veteran Member
Joined
·
11,555 Posts

The Xavier avalanche that he deployed his airbag was caught on film. It was massive and I am pretty sure he would not be alive if not for having that. Not that you needed anymore convincing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
393 Posts

The Xavier avalanche that he deployed his airbag was caught on film. It was massive and I am pretty sure he would not be alive if not for having that. Not that you needed anymore convincing.
jeezuz christmas. You're right that I didn't need anymore convincing...but if I did, that would do it.

I can safely say that I will never be in that exact situation though! That was ginormous.

Airbag it is. Top of the line.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Mr. Miyagi. Thank you very much for taking the time to translate the video in detail.

I'm sure there will be many people in the future who find this post and come away from it a bit more educated.

I know that I take far too many risks and now know that I put too much faith in my snowpulse.

I found myself doing crazier and crazier lines that last two years and to be honest..
even though I religiously try and avoid traversing hanging slabs, riding hanging bowls, doing big lines that cliff out, I've noticed that my confidence and sense of security on slopes has irrationally inflated since riding with my pack.

always thought 97% survival rate and those who didn't usually hit trees or went over cliffs.

Wrong.

I just read the marketing more carefully.
97% Stay on Top Or Airbags Visable.

After reading the translation of the Video, will think twice about some situ's next season.
 

·
Veteran Member
Joined
·
11,555 Posts
I really hope we don't see an increase in risky behavior but the op seems to indicate that is just tge case with him. It has changed my attitude a little when dealin with certain situations but overall I run the same protocols and awareness I have for years now. Airbags can greatly enhance your chances of surviving a slide but only if and only if tye consequence is of the right type. Nate deployed his airbag in the Telluride sidecountry when he was caught in a slide. The consequence said that his airbag meant dick as he got jammed into trees and slammed into rocks. Shredding his bag to boot. So yeah it is an all else fails last ditch effort for me and it will remain so.

Which btw I saw an excellent cornice collapse today a few hundred yards from where I was skinning. There was a chunk that was about a school bus in size in the debris pile. I managed to get a few pics I have yet to see if they are any good. Warm weather, we were gone drinking beer fairly soon after that one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
538 Posts

The Xavier avalanche that he deployed his airbag was caught on film. It was massive and I am pretty sure he would not be alive if not for having that. Not that you needed anymore convincing.

Have seen this video several times and I am amazed he never collided with those rocks on that slope. Really amazed he even survived. Probably wouldn't have if he got caught in that initial wave of the avalanche.

Though I am a bit confused on the airbag's intention, is it to try to keep you afloat on top of the avalanche? or to keep your upper body inside an air pocket?

Always thought it was the latter but have never watched any in use.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
538 Posts
Primary intent is floatation to keep the victim on top. As a secondary benefit the airbag also provides a larger pocket if buried.

Hmm, ok. I just don't get where the buoyancy comes into the equation. It's sliding snow, not water. Maybe that aspect adds to people thinking they are more effective than they are? Just having a hard time seeing them keeping you afloat in a sliding snow compaction situation. What does it inflate with?
 

·
The Rooster King
Joined
·
3,821 Posts
Primary intent is floatation to keep the victim on top. As a secondary benefit the airbag also provides a larger pocket if buried.
more than giving you any air pocket to speak of the main secondary benefit is trauma protection around the head and neck... there is one airbag (i can't remember which one) that has a function which automatically deflates the bag after like two minutes of non-movement after it deploys - which WOULD give you an extra air pocket the size of your balloon. but like i said: only one design of the packs does this, all the others require manual deflation.

the fact that you have a bigass balloon in back of your head probably could deflect some snow from packing in... i wont deny that at all.. but i sure wouldn't count on it just knowing how snow sets up when it stops moving...
 

·
The Rooster King
Joined
·
3,821 Posts
Hmm, ok. I just don't get where the buoyancy comes into the equation. It's sliding snow, not water. Maybe that aspect adds to people thinking they are more effective than they are? Just having a hard time seeing them keeping you afloat in a sliding snow compaction situation. What does it inflate with?
it inflates with dry air from the paintball place. the concept of how it floats is basically the same principal that makes the biggest, whole potato chips sit on the top of the pile when you open a bag while the crumbs are all on the bottom.

the lightest weight (mass) objects with the most surface area will wind up on the surface when the pile stops moving.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top