HOW TO CHOOSE AN AVALANCHE PROBE?
In the event of an avalanche, a probe will help you not only pinpoint the exact location of the victim but measure the burial depth too, reducing potential life-saving rescue time. In conjunction with an avalanche transceiver and shovel, the probe is an essential piece of safety kit.
Depending on where you’re riding, consider the depth of the snow. 2 metres or longer is ideal; while shorter probes are lighter, longer probes will give you more space to grip, reducing the risk of it breaking. Longer probes are also usually made with heavier, but more durable materials, and have the benefit of easing strain on your back when using for long periods of time.
Avalanche probes are usually built from aluminium or carbon and both have their advantages. Aluminium, although heavier, can penetrate tougher, denser snow quickly and effectively while carbon is lighter but more expensive.
Always ensure you know how to use your probe quickly and efficiently in the event of an avalanche, especially when wearing gloves. Although some ski poles have dual functionality and can transform into avalanche probes it can be time consuming in emergency situations.
Your transceiver leads to the probe, your probe leads to the shovel, your shovel leads to your friend. These three items are the most vital part of any backcountry skiers’ equipment; you should never step into the backcountry without them. With so many options on the market, finding the right avalanche safety set up can be difficult. To help clear the confusion and aid you in the decision, we have assembled a guide to walk you through everything you will need to know when purchasing avalanche safety equipment that could save your life.
The idea of escaping into the wilderness, away from the crowds to enjoy untouched powder is becoming increasingly popular. People are branching out further and further off piste to find the hidden, untouched treasures of the mountains, but where do you start when beginning you first backcountry adventure?
With a slow start to the winter season and following recent weeks of heavy snowfall, snowpacks across Europe can be unstable and prone to lethal avalanches. Whilst you should never head into the backcountry without full backcountry equipment and a qualified local professional, we’re of the belief that avalanche safety starts with understanding snowpacks and preventing avalanches before they occur.
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