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Utah Avy- skier survived perhaps aided by airbag?

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  • Utah Avy- skier survived perhaps aided by airbag?

    http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013...-in-utah-gully
    Reluctant enthusiast, part-time crusader, half-hearted fanatic

  • #2
    Interesting. I think the dude that dug her out should get the credit for her survival not the airbag. What would have happened if that slide was a little deeper in the woods? Buy that man a beer!

    I have zero experience w/ airbags. I wonder if this women w/ all of the people around + airbag + beacon made her feel safe? would she have skied that slope w/o the gear?

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    • #3
      It sounds like she was not familiar with the area and didn't much think about it. I'm really glad she had an airbag but if she was still buried, how did the airbag assist? I'm with JRM that the quick reacting moostachioed one deserves the credit!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Grant View Post
        It sounds like she was not familiar with the area and didn't much think about it. I'm really glad she had an airbag but if she was still buried, how did the airbag assist? I'm with JRM that the quick reacting moostachioed one deserves the credit!
        From what I read, the consensus seems to be that she would've been buried much deeper without the airbag. No question that the humans saved her life.
        Yay!...(Drool)


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        • #5
          ^^^I just read the official report and think you are correct BFTH.

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          • #6
            Makes me wonder if I should get one...I pooh, poohed it for so long as just another expensive alternative to good judgment. Now I'm not so sure.
            Yay!...(Drool)


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            • #7
              Originally posted by BillyFromTheHills View Post
              Makes me wonder if I should get one...I pooh, poohed it for so long as just another expensive alternative to good judgment. Now I'm not so sure.
              After reading the UAC Report I also agree that the air bag probably helped and I am starting to look at the airbag more like a seat belt. I recommend this TED talk on Risk in avalanche terrain I found on the UAC blog.

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              • #8
                The airbags perhaps created a larger air pocket around her head or sheltered her body from heavy, settling debris in the terrain trap. This is what an airbag is also designed to do if you ignore obvious clues.

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                • #9
                  Whether or not the air bag helped is speculation but, one of the things I learned years ago was "clear the run out". The girl made a turn for the camera and stopped at about the same time the avalanche released. With the momentum she'd gained on the lower angled in run, the avalanche could have been completely avoided by continuing towards the photographer. Ignoring the basics resulted in a unnecessary close call. If you're gonna cut the slope it's, safe point to safe point not, cut and stop in the middle.
                  http://www.wowasatch.com/index.htm

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JRM View Post
                    I wonder if this women w/ all of the people around + airbag + beacon made her feel safe? would she have skied that slope w/o the gear?
                    not this again please (or have you removed the seatbelts from your car to stay safe?)
                    Reluctant enthusiast, part-time crusader, half-hearted fanatic

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Tele 'til You're Smelly View Post
                      not this again please (or have you removed the seatbelts from your car to stay safe?)
                      Of course I drive with my seat belt on + use the parking brake, check my tire pressure, clean my wind shield yada, yada. However, you won't find me driving 50 mph in reverse because I have a backup camera in my 3/4 ton Suburban.

                      I believe the interview in the UAC report w/ the skier who triggered the slide is revealing, she did say that the gear influenced her decision to ski the slope first. Which leads me to believe that the gear influenced the discussion of whether or not to ski the slope at all. Am I really that off base?

                      I think avy air bags today are more analogous to seat belts in the 70's or bicycle helmets in the 80's. Which is why I am interested in this topic. I do know now that I have accepted both seat belts and helmets and that I feel exposed without them.

                      I am also very thankful the skier is alive and in one piece.
                      Last edited by JRM; 11 December 2013, 08:10 PM.

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                      • #12
                        This slope in Mid January will have three or four ski or snowboard jumps built at the top, it gets pounded out on a regular basis so alot of locals ski it on an exit from other Grizzly Gulch runs including myself, the problem with this slope is that it has become way to familiar with locals and is taken for granted, yet terrain trap at the bottom is way ugly. Airbag or not the problem is that this slope had a considerable avalanche rating on Sunday and that was ignored due to familiarity, or proximity to Alta boundaries.

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                        • #13
                          I have an airbag and I can tell you I never even consider that I have it when making decisions. I am sure there are other people who do let many variables that I would consider non relevant influence their decision making just like there are people who ski slide prone slopes above terrain traps when the avalanche rating is considerable.

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                          • #14
                            Story and some pics directly from the gal involved in the incident.
                            http://amieski.com/2013/12/12/blind-spot/
                            "Just say no to groomed snow"

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                            • #15
                              She spelled "shining" wrong...

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