Friday, February 3, 2012

Snowboarder survives avalanche with airbag (video)

As you get ready to snowboard down the side of a mountain and the snow decides to take you for a ride on top of an avalanche, what do you do?

If you are wearing a Float 30 on your back, you deploy the safety device immediately and ride out the avalanche with your head held high.

That's exactly what professional snowboarder Meesh Hytner did on Jan. 25 when snowboarding near the Snake River drainage in the Montezuma, Colo., area. Someone at a safer location captured it on film and posted it on YouTube. Watch:

Just as an airbag saves lives in car accidents, the airbag in the BCA Float 30 can save the lives of skiers and snowboarders who venture into the backcountry and get caught in an avalanche. BCA says the airbag not only helps prevent burial but protects the head, neck and upper body from trauma.

"I felt like I was riding a mattress down the stairs," Hytner told the blog.

For BCA, the maker of these inflatable safety devices, the incident was another endorsement for its product and its life-saving capability.

From the blog:
The avalanche danger for the Vail-Summit zone was considerable that day on all aspects and elevations, with human-triggered avalanches likely. Meesh and company had snowmobiled up to snowboard the northeast faces, some of which had already slid. She was very lucky to have survived unscathed. “Thank you” she told us, “this thing saved my life. It’s proof that this product works.”
Interestingly, several of the commenters at the end of the BackcountryAccess blog were critical about the decision to even snowboard that hill, questioning the knowledge these professional snowboarders ought to have had to avoid such a situation.

Nobody was questioning the intelligence of wearing a Float 30, however.

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