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Safety

Safety equipment for free riding  and ski touring.

For many years, Speck-sports has offered a wide range of  mountain safety products.

According to ANENA statistics, during the 2016-2017 season, 88 avalanches were reported to have killed 22 people.

While 80% of alpine hikers are now equipped with Avalanche Transceivers, only 45% of off-piste ski...

Safety equipment for free riding  and ski touring.

For many years, Speck-sports has offered a wide range of  mountain safety products.

According to ANENA statistics, during the 2016-2017 season, 88 avalanches were reported to have killed 22 people.

While 80% of alpine hikers are now equipped with Avalanche Transceivers, only 45% of off-piste skiers and snowboarders are equipped.

With the cellular phone network covering most ski areas, it feels safer to call for help, but statistics show that the chances of survival decrease rapidly over time. Only the help organized directly by the people on the spot and equipped guarantees a very high percentage of survival.

It all comes down to the first 15 minutes:

Between 0 and 15 minutes of burial:

The chances of survival are 91%.

The victims are mostly fatally injured during the fall into the avalanche.

15 to 45 minutes of burial:

The chances of survival drop to 25%.

This is the asphyxiation phase. Without an air bag, with a compressed chest, the victims died of asphyxia.

Beyond 45 minutes of burial:

The chances of survival decrease gradually with the presence or absence of air. Beyond 2H, the chances of survival are only 7%.


The importance of equipment:

For a quick rescue it is necessary:

Locate the victim using the Avalanche Transceivers and a probe.

Professional first aiders in addition to dogs have specific tools such as the RECCO system with which some equipment and clothing are equipped.

Access the victim.

With only skis and hands it sometimes takes more than an hour to dig 1 m into avalanche snow. That's why it's so important to have a shovel on you.

The Avalanche Transceivers

What is a Avalanche Transceivers

The Avalanche Victim Detection Device is an electromagnetic transmitter and receiver operating on the standard frequency of 457kHz. A dva has two functions: transmission and reception.

When off-roading, the Avalanche Transceivers must be in the transmitter position permanently on (after checking the correct operation of the device)

In the event of an avalanche, the witnesses present switch their dva to reception mode to locate the victims.

In choosing his Avalanche Transceivers will take into account:

The signal range and bandwidth:

The more important these are, the earlier the victim's location will be.

Digital and analog modes.

Until 1998, manufacturers used analogue technology. In this case, the signal from the transmitting Avalanche Transceivers is converted by the receiver into sound waves. When a Avalanche Transceivers in reception receives a Avalanche Transceivers in transmission, it emits a "beep", all the louder because the two devices are close to each other or because they are correctly oriented relative to each other. A potentiometer makes it possible to vary the sound intensity of the signal, by adjusting the sensitivity of the receiver. All Avalanche Transceivers manufactured before 1998 are analog.

In 1998, a second generation of Avalanche Transceivers appeared, using digital technology, exclusively or in combination with analogue technology. This is called digital Avalanche Transceivers. The transmitter signal is analyzed by a microprocessor which converts it into two types of visual indications:

an indication of progress (numerical value appearing on a screen);
- a direction indication (diode or arrow that lights up when the receiving Avalanche Transceivers is correctly oriented with respect to the transmitting device).

The number of antennas:

Avalanche Transceivers are composed of 1 to 3 antennas. The recent models all have 3 antennas that simplify the search for victims by giving indications of distance and direction. They are also much more accurate in the final research.

Other functions:

Analysis and separation of signals in the event of burial, multiple victim marking, rescuer protection function with automatic activation of the transmit mode without movement for a certain time (over avalanche)

Simple rules for using Avalanche Transceivers

To be effective with a dva you must know how to use it in search mode. It is not necessary to wait until the accident to learn because with stress and confusion, research must be like a reflex. Practice searching with dva before the accident.

Do not wear your dva just under your jacket: as soon as it gets warmer, when you take off your jacket, the dva appears in the open air: in case of an avalanche it may be torn off!

Don't leave without a snow shovel or probe: you have just found a buried person in less than 5 minutes but it takes you 45 minutes to clear them by hand.... the time to die asphyxiated under the snow.

Do not leave with very used batteries (or without batteries at the beginning of the season)
Knowing how to give up a race, the dva is not a "loop

The use of a DVA must be combined with a probe and a shovel.

The average search time of a victim is estimated at:

11 mm with dva, probe and shovel

25 mm with a dva and a shovel

1 hour with a dva alone.

When you know that everything is at stake in the first 15 minutes, it is imperative to go to the mountains with these 3 safety elements.


The probes

They are made of aluminium for strength or carbon to save weight.

Their length must be at least 2 m. The standard length is 2.4 m, with rescuers using probes from 2.80 to 3.2 m for a higher sounding capacity.


The shovels

The excavators (handle + bucket) can be composed of combinations of the following three components: Carbon, aluminium and polycarbonate. Carbon and polycarbonate will be lighter but aluminum will be more effective on hard snow.

Telescopic handles help to make the excavator more compact for storage but also more efficient when deployed for excavating.

Some models also have a ォ position サ pickaxe to increase efficiency in clearing.


Airbags bags

The airbag is an additional and important safety element. Contrary to popular belief, it does not totally eliminate the risk of mortality but halves it.

Out of 100 avalanche victims, 22 perish. This number is reduced to 11 with a successful airbag activation.

However, according to ANENA, it is very important to become familiar with the operation of the trigger. 20% of inflation failures and 60% due to the user's fault.

On the other hand, the personal safety benefits of airbags are quickly cancelled if users use them to justify increased exposure in areas where larger avalanches are possible.

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