Avalanche Survival

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The White Room Imagine seeing a close friend, or family member getting tossed down a mountain face through trees and rocks in the middle of a raging avalanche. When the avalanche finally comes to a halt they are nowhere in sight. As panic begins to set in you realize there is no cell coverage, no ski patrol, or even a road within several miles. In that moment you are wondering if you will ever see your friend again, and if you do will they be alive. Every year several lives are lost in the backcountry due to avalanches. Many of those people could be alive if they had taken avalanche courses, and learned the basics behind avalanche safety. There are many precautions that need to be taken when entering the backcountry, it is crucial to bring all necessary gear, understand the danger and mechanics behind avalanches, and know how to conduct a rescue if someone is buried. Although some people do not realize it, bringing all of the necessary avalanche gear is often times the determining factor as to whether a life is saved, or lost. A beacon is a radio transceiver device that is worn under a coat and sends signals to other beacons. Beacons are used to search for buried victims. They send radio signals so buried victims can be found. It is vital that beacons are always on “send” mode, so if an avalanche breaks the beacon the buried beacon will send signals, and the victim will be found. If somebody else is buried, then the beacon needs to be switched to “search” mode and it will show arrows leading to the victim. When buried ten feet deep in avalanche chunder and dubree, beacon search signals are the only way to successfully be found, or find others who are buried. Though wearing a beacon improves the chances of being unburied, it does ... ... middle of paper ... ...rs. N.p. 15 Mar. 2013. 18 Nov. 2013. “Avalanche Tips.” Niles EMA. N.p. December 2010. 16 Nov. 2013. “Cause of Avalanche Deaths.” CBC News. N.p. 12 Feb. 2009. 17 Nov. 2013. “Conduct a Rescue.” National Avalanche Center. N.p. Oct. 2013. Web. 14 Oct. 2013. Duffy, Mike. “Avalanche Survival.” American Snowmobiler.1 January 2009: 58-60. Masterfile Premier. Print. Finkel, Michael. “The Deadly Season.” Popular Mechanics 187.1 (Jan. 2010) n. pag. Academic Search Premier. Web. 1 Oct. 2013. Gokey, Monica. “Snow Science.” Missoula Independent. (21 Feb. 2013) 14-16. Academic Search Premier. Print. “Perform a Beacon Search.” National Avalanche Center. N.p. 14 Oct. 2013. Web. 14 Oct. 2013. “The 10 ABS Survival Principles.” The Avalanche Airbag. N.p. 28 Oct. 2013. Web. 23 Oct. 2013. Wise, Jeff. “AVALANCHE!” Popular Mechanics March 2008: 185.3 Masterfile Premier. Web. 10 Oct. 2013.

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