Ski Avalanche Safety
Don't forget your avalanche safety equipment
Whether you’re skiing or snowboarding, if you’re going to leave the piste – let alone the resort – you should take measures to reduce the risk to you and your friends from avalanches. That means getting hold of essential avalanche safety equipment – transceiver, shovel and probe. Not only that – you need to learn how to use it all, and learn the theory of avalanches and how to manage the risk they pose.
You don’t need to be touring the remote backcountry to be in danger of avalanche – the sidecountry and areas within resort bounds can be just as dangerous in certain conditions. The best way to avoid the danger is to stay within resort on marked and open pistes, but if you are going to venture further afield (and let’s face it, powder is great, so we don’t blame you) then you need to be properly educated, informed and prepared.
At Freeze, we’ve got members of the team who are experienced backcountry touring skiers and snowboarders, so we know great quality kit when we see it – we’ve been out there using it and testing it for years. With this experience and knowledge we’ve put together a choice range of avalanche safety kit for you to choose from, including transceivers, probes, shovels, airbags, snow analysis tools and mountaineering gear from some of the biggest and best names in the business.
Before you head off, follow these steps to make sure you’re prepared…
Get the kit
The three essential bits of avalanche safety kit are the transceiver, shovel and probe.
The transceiver sends and receives radio signals – to identify where you are in the event that you’re caught in an avalanche, or help to locate your friends in the event that they are. They are more tricky to use than you might imagine, so make sure that you and your team get plenty of practice in lots of different situations and scenarios (including multiple burials) well before you head out on a trip.
The probe is an extendable aluminium pole that helps you to pinpoint someone who’s been buried and the lightweight shovel is what you’ll use to dig them out. Again, there are techniques like tactical digging that you should understand and be able to do in plenty of time before you go.
Get some training
You should understand snow pack and snow conditions and the theory of avalanche safety before you go on a trip. There are plenty of courses out there that you can do – we recommend the Avalanche Geeks.
Get the forecast
If there’s an avalanche forecast service in your area, use it. It’ll never be absolutely fool-proof, but should give you a good indication of general risk levels so you can make a decision on whether it’s wise to head out at all.
Once you get out there, you need to put all your training into practice and be vigilant to how conditions could have changed or be changing. Assess the snow pack – we sell lots of tools that can help you to make a judgement on stability.
Know where the avalanche danger zones will be, avoid them, don’t loiter in or below them, and pass them one person at a time.
If you have questions about any of the avalanche safety equipment that we sell, you can’t find something you’re looking for or want some extra advice, get in touch with one of the team and we’ll be happy to help.