Backcountry Rescue

  • Throttling Down at Togwotee Pass: A Snowmobile Guide’s Decisions on a ‘High’ Avalanche Danger Day

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    Being a good backcountry mountain snowmobiler means, among other things, that even though you’ve come all this way and spent all this time and money, and have all this gear; you have to be able to say no sometimes. A un-epic day when you and your riding buddies made the decision to turn around and not go there, is just as badass as any sick climb or epic line you do on the other days.

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  • New avalanche, snow burial practice guidelines from the Wilderness Medical Society

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    In continuing to promote avalanche education, Backcountry Access is please to share the new white paper: The Wilderness Medical Society Practice Guidelines for Prevention and Management of Avalanche and Nonavalanche Snow Burial Accidents.

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  • Big lines and big recoveries: Overcoming the trauma of surviving an avalanche

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    BCA pro athlete Amie Engerbretson was featured in the December 2016 issue of Freeskier in the story “Backcountry Rehab” about how she has overcome the trauma of surviving an avalanche, and gone on to drop big lines and continue her professional ski career.

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  • Avalanche airbag deployed as man, dog survive Mt Baker slide

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    John Towne, his dog, and a couple friends were riding the backcountry at Mount Baker in early January 2017 when an avalanche broke. He was in the middle of it and quickly started to sink. Thankfully he was riding with his Float 32.

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  • Avalanche Rescue: Airbag deployed as skier radios for help on Berthoud Pass

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    On Sunday January 29, 2017, Dustin Opheim was caught in an avalanche near Berthoud Pass on the southeast aspect of Russell. The incident was reported to CAIC. Dustin recounts his avalanche rescue experience in which he deployed BCA Float avalanche airbag and communicated to his group via his BC Link radios.

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  • Avalanche Rescue at Cherry Bowl, a Story that Needs to be Told

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    In March of 2013, four friends from Whitehorse, Yukon, made the 1200 km road trip south to Shames Mountain, BC. With fresh snow and clearing skies, they embarked on a week-long adventure exploring the area’s backcountry. Four days in, on a bluebird day in Cherry Bowl, their trip came to an abrupt end.

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  • Float Airbag Saves Man in Courmayeur Avalanche

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    Overall it was pretty obvious to both me and my ski buddies that day that my airbag pack saved me from serious injury or worse. Not only did my Float avalanche airbag pack keep me above the snow, but when I slammed into a boulder the pack prevented me from being pinned down on it, and instead helped me deflect off.

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  • Backcountry Rescue from Ouray Colorado Avalanche

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    While boot packing up the Naked Lady Couloir, another party backcountry skiing above Ross Minton’s ski mountaineering group above released an avalanche. The slide caught Ross and carried him around 400 feet down the couloir. Luckily he was not buried. And luckily his guide and party knew the basics of post-avalanche patient care and backcountry evacuation.

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  • BCA Float Avalanche Airbag Saves Heli-boarder

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    Nick Polidoro was demo’ing a Float airbag while heli-boarding in March 2016 in Haines, AK. He was caught in an avalanche on Directors North, getting carried over two cliffs—and over 1000 vertical feet. He ended up with his face and toes just above the surface. “Before I pulled the trigger, I had no control whatsoever. Once I pulled it, the whole situation changed: instead of pitch black, I could see white.”

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