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Old 12-14-2010   #1
lmyers's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
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Airbag Avy Pack?

So, a friend posted a link to this CAIC accident report: CAIC: Colorado Avalanche Information Center on his facebook page.

Apparently the individual involved used an Airbag Avy Pack to aid in escaping the slide: Results for Avalanche Airbags

Here is a TR with photos from the individual: Why you should go get an avy pack... TODAY! ( - Back Country Rebels - Forums

Thought I would share this with everyone. The Avy Pack is a product that I didn't even know existed, and it seems to be effective. $1000 is expensive, but how much is your life worth?

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Old 12-14-2010   #2
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Supposed to be better than a beacon cause it'll help you avoid the trauma in addition to the burial. Experts say that if you have to pick one, they'll take the bag. It's been used in Europe and around the world for years, but there was some technicality in getting it here. They're just starting to filter in.

Windpowderrock was the gent who got slid and posts here on the buzz and I'm sure he'll chime in here shortly.

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Old 12-14-2010   #3
Canon City, Colorado
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BCA makes one that retails for 700, I think.
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Old 12-14-2010   #4
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Read the thread....sounds like everyone is super bummed about the BCA packs, which is weird because I generally love their stuff.
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Old 12-14-2010   #5
Canon City, Colorado
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Doh. I just scrolled down the rest of the way on that site to see all the other packs. . .

Do you know what they're bummed about on the BCA pack?
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Old 12-14-2010   #6
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Heard of them but never seen one in action. Knew they were pricey.
"Let us cross the river to the other side and rest beneath the shade of the trees." ~ Last words of Thomas Jonathan ''Stonewall' Jackson
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Old 12-15-2010   #7
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Boulder, Colorado
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Here is a link to a story about the Buzzard's near miss:

Kaleb Timberlake: A close call in the snow points to high avy danger |

Glad you made it home dude!

(seven two 0)-298-2242
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Old 12-15-2010   #8
The next zone, .
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I have one of the airbag packs and ware it.. The reason I shelled out the cash is because I am out in avy terrain just about evey day in the winter and I think it is the best thing that you can have around or on you once things go pop....

I also have the BCA pack and they could do a better job in several ways like making the pack its self bigger, horizontal board carry system, and make it suitable for someone with larger than a 16" torso. The buckles are also a bit awkward and the pack is heavy. Flat out the BCA float pack is not large enough for me to carry everything I want to so I put it in another large pack then break it out when we get to where we are going to ride or ski.. When I am working I ware it and then leave the kitchen sink at home..

IMO these type of packs are the best thing you can have in or on you once the snow starts to move. If you are in avy terrain every day sooner or later you are going to be around moving snow and while float packs do not protect against trauma they will tilt the odds further in your favor if you have one.

Also kinda interesting that these type of packs are gettin to be standard issue with the high end of snowmobile/snowmoboard set. Most of my friends or the normal crew we ride with now wares them. IMO they are not a fad and should be part of any BC travelers equipment. I would imagine that they will work their way down to the side or slack country hiking set soon...

Glad to hear Kaleb made it out OK and I have seen pics of the recovered sled... I have to agree that the air bag pack pry saved the life of backcountryislife or kaleb.
"I feel better than any other time when I am in the mountains and uh I cant explain it ya know...." - Shawn Farmer..........
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Old 12-15-2010   #9
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Denali - it sounds like the BCA pull cord/ release isn't attached well and can flop around. Hence people are skeptical of finding it during the chaos of tumbling on rocks under an avalanche. I agree with jahvea that these packs will be the standard in the coming years. Be safe out there.
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Old 12-16-2010   #10
dillon, Colorado
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I just ordered the snowpulse bag. BCA has a lot of low priced gear but I've never been that impressed with their quality. The snowpulse retails for around $1000 and you can order it through With all the patrollers and avy professionals getting killed, I figure education and experience aren't sufficient if you're going to be putting a lot of days in. Chris Davenport basically said that with enough days in the backcountry (in avy terrain of course) anyone will be at risk. As far as it being better than a beacon, the comparison is pretty hard to make as they are totally different tools and I would never replace a beacon with an would my friends do? Additionally, people are sometimes still fully buried with airbags inflated. I do think there's a danger of increasing my level of acceptable risk, but I guess that increases with the number of days out in the bc also. The ski patrol at Jackson is ordering airbags, guides in Europe use them, and more and more data is out about the legitimate benefit of the packs. I will post a review of the snowpulse as soon as it gets here.

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avalanche airbag, bag

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