Avalanches - what to do if you get caught in one

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  • Your prospects if caught in an avalanche are grim - the snow burying you is very heavy and often sets like concrete, making it impossible to move. But there are things you can do to improve your chances of survival. https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/108260458/avalanches--what-to-do-if-you-get-caught-in-one
  • Hmm, I would say your chances are 0%, because: "the key survival component was well-trained people outside the avalanche who could find and dig you out quickly." I don't tend to have a team of well-trained people following me. But so far, just looking at the avalanche danger scale seems to pay off...
  • I've heard the friction of the cascading snow causes some melt. When it comes to a stop. the 'melt' refreezes encasing you cement-like. That bit about breath causing an ice lens was news to me.
  • Perhaps I'm completely wrong, but my first thought looking at this picture is, what were they doing in the middle of that big open slope (or the top/middle of that slope? Sneaking up the far right hand side of the slope and then close under the rocks above would hopefully keep you out of trouble initially, and give you a chance to evaluate the stability of that slope from the side/top with a rope and proper belay on and the option to back off to the side and then down the ridge if it felt dodgy. Better than ending up in the middle upper part of that big wide slope and starting to realise how ugly it is. ![Mt Hicks](https://resources.stuff.co.nz/content/dam/images/1/s/g/3/q/2/image.related.StuffLandscapeSixteenByNine.1240x700.1sgeay.png/1540974979204.jpg)
    This post has been edited by the author on 1 November 2018 at 16:57.
  • climbers are usually pushed for time.... so they weigh up which route should they take that they feel they can get away with in the conditions.. people who've made correct decisions for years and decades, not fully realising how fine they can be cutting it and just get it wrong once... you'll never know how bad an avalanche can be till you're in one...
  • Which is why the education emphasises avoiding the avo risk - ie: reading the terrain and snow types & conditions (and also time of day, amount of sun the snow has seen already in that day) etc, rather than what to do once you are in one. There will also be so many variables that if you survive, that would be a massive plus.
  • Hmmm, well when you have a pushy high paying customer who comes to climbing late in life and wants to tick off all the 3000m+ peaks with a 2 guides to 1 client ratio then things are going to go wrong.
    This post has been edited by the author on 3 November 2018 at 11:30.
  • Saw the news yesterday...definitely a scary experience...she is definitely a survivor...crazy how two died and she is entirely as nothing happened apart from the shock.
  • saw a post on facebook about the NZ alpine team member that died it said he was caught in an avalanche and swept over a bluff to his death
    This post has been edited by the author on 4 November 2018 at 18:53.
  • Spot on Strider. Guiseppe23 - I witnessed the same thing many years ago in NZ with a lot of people who died tragically in the NZ bush in one event, some were horrifically injured and several died. There were some survivors but they received major injuries - however one survivor only suffered minor bruising. I saw him a few times after that Im sure survivor guilt was getting to him. To say he was lucky was a tremendous understatement. Its incredible how sometimes people survive these things. Someone was watching over him for sure.
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Forum The campfire
Started by waynowski
On 1 November 2018
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