Avalanche Rescue

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Photo: Seb Mooze

AIARE Avalanche Rescue Course

Getting caught in an avalanche can be violent, gruesome, and heartbreaking. On average, 53% of fully buried victims die (Haegli et al., 2011). The chance of surviving a complete burial decreases significantly after 10 minutes. In North America, the chance of survival in an avalanche is further reduced by the increased incidence of major trauma. In fact, one quarter of avalanche fatalities are due to traumatic injuries, not from asphyxiation (Boyd et al., 2009).

Any time you are in avalanche terrain, the chance of being caught in an avalanche is never zero, even if you are using The AIARE Framework to help your group make good decisions and avoid involvement with an avalanche. Carrying essential rescue gear, knowing how to use it, and regularly practicing using it are essential. Much like wearing a seat belt while in a car. You never plan to get in a car accident on the Interstate, but you’ll wear your seat belt just in case.

This course covers:

  • Essential rescue equipment: avalanche transceiver, shovel, probe, and a communication device as well as optional equipment to reduce the risk of being buried.
  • How to respond if caught in an avalanche yourself.
  • Small-team avalanche rescue: the process of rescuing others caught in an avalanche as a team.
  • Resources for ongoing avalanche rescue practice.

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Avalanche Rescue Student Materials

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