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 Post subject: Avalung
PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 4:46 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:38 pm
Posts: 819
Location: The Belly of Ham baby!!
So, I had a nice little headfirst tree well experience a fewyears ago where I got totally burried and was rescued by my buddy. Because of that incident, my mom freaked and bought me a BD Avalung pack this year (yes, Im 25 and my mom still worries herself sick about my mountain activities).

The system looks solid. I guess the evidence is building about it's usefulness, and I've seen a YouTube of a dude who survived 6 minutes of burial because of it (who, by the way was a dumbass for dropping in on what he did).

I'm wondering what you all think of the Avalung system, how many might have and use it, and to what degree of practical safety it might offer? If used properly of course...

CHEERS ON STAYING ALIVE AND GETTING SHRED-KNAR EVERYONE!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Avalung
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 12:33 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 10:59 am
Posts: 13
Location: San Diego
Why not test it out? I mean have someone safely bury you in a tree well or something.


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 Post subject: Re: Avalung
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 3:09 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 1:05 pm
Posts: 522
This accident report from CAIC about a slide near Vail, CO last year is what sold me. These 3 guys all had avalungs, two only used them for a brief period, but one guy used it for 15 minutes. They survived burials for a long period of time, one for about 2 hours.

http://avalanche.state.co.us/pub/accide ... t=20090116

I got a BD covert avalung pack for my self last year, I use it a lot because it holds all my stuff and keeps it organized. As far as the lung goes, I haven't had to use it and hope to never have to, but, it is nice to have.

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 Post subject: Re: Avalung
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 3:00 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:38 pm
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Location: The Belly of Ham baby!!
That is a grizzly story. I was chatting with an Avi instructor/guide at AAI the other day, and he mentioned that the average burial is 4 to 6 feet.... I think I'm sold on the Avalung for sure...

Being buried is absolutely terrifying. Usually I don't have any problems with claustrophobia, but being buried in snow is incredibly scary. Perhaps practicing staying calm while buried is a good idea as well... Although avoiding the whole scenario is good too!!

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 Post subject: Re: Avalung
PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 12:11 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 12:48 pm
Posts: 213
Location: Lumby
good to hear there are positive stories about the avalung. i have read two different first hand accounts of burial where the mouthpiece was ripped out of the riders mouth in the tumble of the avalanche, and so it did no good for them; fortunately each one was rescued relatively quickly ( under 10 mins if i recall) .

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 Post subject: Re: Avalung
PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:14 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 9:39 pm
Posts: 14
Location: Edwards
I'm not saying that the slight advantage of having an avalung isn't worth it. But here's a few thoughts to ponder.

I forget the exact percentage, but something like %70 of avalanche related deaths occur DURING the avalanche.

There's also an issue that the Kayaking community had to figure out when emergency compressed air bottles for
kayakers hit the market. Would it not be better to use your time trying to save yourself than fidgeting about looking
for the mouthpiece?

That second that you spend looking for the mouthpiece could be used to look for an escape.

Now, going back to the Avalung. I will buy one, as soon as I can afford it. !!BUT!! It shouldn't affect your decision
to ride or not to ride a slope. Just like people suddenly do stupid things when they put on a helmet, I can see people
saying... Well I have a beacon and an avalung... Let's do it!

Personally I find the inflatable bag thingy interesting. Anybody out there have to use one?


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 Post subject: Re: Avalung
PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:50 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2010 12:32 am
Posts: 44
Location: Zurich, Switzerland
I have both an ABS Vario line balloon backpack. I spent loads of dosh this time, trying to shed weight on the heavy thing, so i went and got a carbon fiber canister, and the lightest material for a bag (it is a Vario line). Last season i didn't have the splitboard so i hauled my heavy ABS pack plus snowboard. I almost didnt make it up top. On top of that i wore an Avalung II over my outer jacket.

I know, imagine the sequence of events in a slide > find Avalung mouthpiece (it should be in your mouth already in sketchy terrain), pull the ABS backpack trigger, look for a way out of the slide, if caught try to pry off your board bindings....

Personally, the backpack is still heavy, it would be cool to integrate the Avalung in the ABS backpack minimizing the time involved taking it off and on when you decide to peel off one of your layers.

Well i go out for the first time soon back country with the new set up plus the new splitboard, compared to last year this should be more manageable. I will report how it feels in over a week.

Oh and i am brushing up on my avalanche emergency awareness ed., by taking a refresher course with a mountain guide.

Plus i am reading Bruce Tremper's Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain (great book, easy to follow).

Most of my long tours will be with a mountain guide and small crew of about 6, then any time in between will be smaller tours with a buddy or two. If I am mixed in with mostly skiers, i will ditch the ABS and only have the Avalung II so i can catch up with them.

I would go with an Avalung first (Avalung II worn over your jacket, so you can throw on any backpack you want, plus if you are riding in sketchy in bound areas off piste, throw it on with out a backpack), after you build up your stamina with carrying heavy loads and save up some cash, invest in an ABS backpack, lightest possible set up (Carbon Fiber canister etc.), since the weight all adds up when you throw all your essentials in the backpack, up to now i am just over 2 kilos heavier with my ABS backpack compared to my 18L Mammut Freeride pack.

Hope this gives some a bit of insight.


Cheers and safe touring all.

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 Post subject: Re: Avalung
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 7:26 am 
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Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 10:48 am
Posts: 49
I zip-tied my Avalung to my winter backpack as shown in the following video at skiingthebackcountry.com. See http://www.skiingthebackcountry.com/skiing-resources/Converted_Avalung_Backpack

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 Post subject: Re: Avalung
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 8:49 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 8:45 am
Posts: 809
Location: Bozeman, MT
Pow-D-Rider wrote:
I zip-tied my Avalung to my winter backpack...


I love a good DIY project, and I don't want to rain on your parade, but the zip-ties will almost certainly not stand up to the force of an avalanche. If you are to use this method I would suggest upping the strength of the material used to hold the 'lung to your pack such as thin steel cable or better yet, sew it to the pack with a bunch of bar-tacks in key locations.

It's a great start to a great idea and I would hate to see you get into the thick of it and have the device ripped from your pack by a 'lanche. I see this same advice was given in the comments section of the linked article in February of '09 so perhaps my words are lost on this topic but I feel pretty strongly that the zip ties will not be able to withstand avalanche forces.

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 Post subject: Re: Avalung
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 11:51 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2010 1:20 am
Posts: 24
Or you could triple the amount of zipties to spread the load hell make the whole thing out of zipties lol.


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