Avalanche Rescue

  • BCA Companion Rescue Series

    Learn how to use your transceiver, shovel, and probe in a companion rescue situation. Our BCA avalanche rescue education series shows you how to perform an avalanche rescue if your companion is buried. Know before you go – take an avalanche course and review BCA avalanche rescue materials here.

    Scroll down to watch our six part BCA Companion Rescue video series.

  • Part 1: Avalanche Beacon Searching 101

    Learn the basics of avalanche transceiver searching with the team from Backcountry Access. BCA in-house sales specialist Andy Wenberg introduces the four phases of the avalanche transceiver search: the signal search, coarse search, fine search, and pinpointing (probing). While Andy uses the Tracker2 in this video, the techniques apply to all transceivers. This is not a substitute for an avalanche class. Get educated before heading into the winter backcountry.

    Click here to download the ‘BCA Companion Rescue Series: Avalanche Beacon Searching 101’ video.
    Click ‘download FREE’ to save to your Downloads folder.

  • Part 2: Avalanche Probing 101

    This video takes you through the pinpointing–or probing–stage of an avalanche rescue. BCA’s Andy Wenberg illustrates the probing techniques used for companion rescue (when avalanche transceivers are used), spot probing (when no transceivers are used), and probe lines–usually performed by an organized rescue team.  This is not a substitute for an avalanche class. Get educated before heading into the winter backcountry.

    Click here to download the ‘BCA Companion Rescue Series – Avalanche Probing 101’ video.
    Click ‘download FREE’ to save to your Downloads folder.

  • Part 3: Avalanche Shoveling 101

    Shoveling is the most time consuming phase of an avalanche rescue. In this video, BCA’s Andy Wenberg takes you through the “ABC’s and D of Digging,” using 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 shovelers. The crux is to start digging downhill of the probe strike (not straight down), to clear snow to the sides first, and to avoid moving snow more than once. This is not a substitute for an avalanche class. Get educated before heading into the winter backcountry.

    Click here to download the ‘BCA Companion Rescue Series – Avalanche Shoveling 101’ video.
    Click ‘download FREE’ to save to your Downloads folder.

  • Part 4: Organizing a Backcountry Rescue

    Now that you’ve learned the basics of avalanche transceiver searching, probing, and strategic shoveling, let’s look at organizing a backcountry rescue. In part four of our Companion Rescue Series, BCA ambassador and American Avalanche Institute (AAI) co-owner Sarah Carpenter goes the through the typical steps you’ll need to perform if your companion gets buried in an avalanche. Make sure the avalanche scene is safe, appoint a rescue leader, delegate tasks, and search for the avalanche victim. Be prepared to provide first aid and evacuation. This is not a substitute for an avalanche class. Get educated before heading into the winter backcountry.

    Click here to download the ‘BCA Companion Rescue Series: Organizing a Backcountry Rescue’ video.
    Click ‘download FREE’ to save to your Downloads folder.

  • Part 5: Post Avalanche Patient Care

    Sarah illustrates the key points you need to administer first aid to an avalanche victim. Check the patient’s airway, breathing, and circulation. Stabilize the spine, if necessary.  Decide if you need to evacuate the avalanche victim, and protect them from exposure. Be prepared to treat the most common injuries that occur when someone gets buried in an avalanche.  This is not a substitute for an avalanche class. Get educated before heading into the winter backcountry.

    Click here to download the ‘BCA Companion Rescue Series: Post Avalanche Patient Care’ video.
    Click ‘download FREE’ to save to your Downloads folder.

  • Part 6: Backcountry Evacuation

    In the final episode of our Companion Rescue series, Sarah highlights how to evacuate an injured avalanche victim from the backcountry. Determine if the injury is ‘useable’. (A ‘useable’ injury means whether you can put weight on it and get out of the backcountry under your own power – for example, is the joint useable or not?) If not, be prepared to build a rescue sled and perhaps an emergency snow shelter. This is not a substitute for an avalanche class. Get educated before heading into the winter backcountry.

    Click here to download the ‘BCA Companion Rescue Series: Backcountry Evacuation’ video.
    Click ‘download FREE’ to save to your Downloads folder.

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