“When Tim Banfield turned on his avalanche transceiver to find his friend, climber Michelle Kadatz, buried four meters beneath him, he realized this rescue was not going to follow the textbook. In the spring of 2018, Tim and Michelle headed out with friend and fellow climber Maia Schumacher for a relaxed day scouting ice climbing routes in Banff, Canada. The remarkable series of events that followed ended with one of the deepest companion rescues on record. Watch Tim, Michelle and Maia retrace their steps and reflect on the lessons learned.”
Sobering tale from Banff, Canada where a climber was trapped under 4 meters of snow for 22 minutes after getting caught in an avalanche. Luckily her partners were trained in avalanche safety and had all the necessary tools on hand to make the rescue. Check out the retelling of story and find additional avalanche awareness resources HERE:
1. Getting the full picture is essential
The weather forecast and recent snowfall is just a small part of the bigger picture that colors avalanche risk in the backcountry. Conditions before, during and after every snowfall impact the overall snowpack, creating a constantly evolving system that must be monitored throughout the season to understand the risk involved in skiing off-piste. Read the avalanche forecast well and often, get insights from locals, dig snow pits and stay curious about what is happening underneath your feet.
2. Each emergency situation is unique
Best practices in avalanche emergencies offer reliable go-to strategies to follow in the most mentally demanding scenarios. But each situation has its own nuances and sometimes the available resources and conditions vary from what you’ve learned in avalanche training. What is consistent across all avalanche emergencies is that every second counts. When faced with an emergency situation, no matter how unlikely that scenario may be, you need to be ready to act quickly and efficiently with the resources available. Practice with your gear often, in varied conditions, and under time pressure.
Find Mammut’s full range of avalanche safety equipment HERE.