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| |-+  Weak Layers: decision making in avalanche terrain
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Author Topic: Splitboard Avi Response  (Read 1896 times)
konacross
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Splitboard Avi Response
« on: 01/07/13, 10:28 AM »

Curious for some input/opinions regarding splitboards and responding to a slide.
In order to start your search grid are you staying in snowboard mode or switching to touring mode?
Clearly time is of the essence but if your mobility is so limited, how much help can you be?
I also know every situation is dynamic and different so there could be situations where either approach is appropriate.
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r1de
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Posts: 222


Re: Splitboard Avi Response
« Reply #1 on: 01/07/13, 01:09 PM »

Curious for some input/opinions regarding splitboards and responding to a slide.
In order to start your search grid are you staying in snowboard mode or switching to touring mode?
Clearly time is of the essence but if your mobility is so limited, how much help can you be?
I also know every situation is dynamic and different so there could be situations where either approach is appropriate.


That's an interesting question.  I'm not an expert, and I've never dug a real person out of a slide.  However, I have done a lot of practice with beacon parks and just completed AIARE L1 which includes a number of realistic burial scenarios (buried packs).  I think your last point is the key: every situation is dynamic and different.

That said, I think it will usually make sense to do whatever gets you to the beacon search phase (starting with rough search) most quickly, and that means not fiddling around with transitions.  For example, if I'm in riding mode, I'm going to ride into the primary search phase and then ditch the board for the rough & detailed/pinpoint search.  If I'm in touring mode (one of the scenarios we conducted, actually), I'm skiing through the primary search - skins and/or crampons in place - and ditching the skis for the rough & detailed/pinpoint search.  I'm not too graceful skiing downhill on my split in touring mode, but it's a hell of a lot faster than ripping skins and transitioning bindings first.  Same thing if I'm in board mode - converting to touring is going to burn up a lot of time.  But again, depending on the bed surface, slide size, my distance from it and direction of travel, hazards and debris area, I might be better off just ditching the board/skis immediately and booting into the primary search... or, if I'm far downhill of the slide then I might be better off converting to tour back uphill than postholing through waist deep pow for 200m.

Bottom line is that you have to make a judgement call on what's going to get you within transceiver range most quickly, based on the situation.
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-bp
cascaderider
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Posts: 26


Re: Splitboard Avi Response
« Reply #2 on: 01/07/13, 04:54 PM »

Great question and one that makes me think about switching to skis. After watching the pov cam from the Crystal Northway avy I would have been postholing all around there and not able to help as much. I have thought about carrying snow shoes but I might as well ski if it came to that.
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Randy
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Re: Splitboard Avi Response
« Reply #3 on: 01/10/13, 07:24 PM »

The bed surface and debris field is a lot firmer than untracked fresh.   
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lernr
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Posts: 307


Re: Splitboard Avi Response
« Reply #4 on: 01/10/13, 11:46 PM »

Interesting question.

Depends on the situation, of course. Transition between modes doesn't take me too long with the Spark Blaze / Burners, and should be even faster w/ Edison. If I need to go far down fast and am in tour mode (e.g. if I were searching but now someone else found the victim/s and I just need to go help dig out pronto), it would be much better to convert to board...

The scenarios I have practiced were all from Tour mode, and I always stayed in it because the distance wasn't that great - but I don't feel locked to it.

Cheers
Ivo
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christoph benells
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Posts: 122


Re: Splitboard Avi Response
« Reply #5 on: 06/14/13, 11:09 AM »

snowboarder could go last, that way there is less of a chance that you will have to transition over and climb back uphill to a burial victim.

think hard about your group dynamics, and plan ahead before dropping in to a run.
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buell
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Posts: 49


Re: Splitboard Avi Response
« Reply #6 on: 06/14/13, 04:03 PM »

A skilled backcountry rider is a skilled backcountry rider. 

There are so many variables that go into a partner's ability to rescue someone caught in a slide.  Issues such as keeping one's head, the ability to quickly locate a buried victim, the ability to shovel through avy debris, the rescuer's ability to ski, ride or boot pack through or around avy debris or possibly how quickly they can skin back uphill for an uphill victim.  A group's ability to organize itself efficiently into tasks and get everyone's beacons switched to search is also significant. 

On top of a partner's skill and group dynamics, there are so many possible scenarios of how a slide happened and how a person needs to be rescued.  Most of which would have no time penalty between skis and snowboard.  If a scenario did have a time penalty because of a transition back to tour mode, any lost time would be minimal for a skilled splitboarder who transitions quickly.  I transition as quickly as many skiers.  

If there is any difference between being on skis verses being on a snowboard it is minimal and probably completely irrelevant when all the other factors are accounted for. 

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Jake the Brit
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Posts: 206


Re: Splitboard Avi Response
« Reply #7 on: 09/17/13, 09:36 PM »

Excellent question.
Important because when the shit hits the fan, you'll do what you've planned for. No plan? who knows what you'll do.

My view is:
Either boot or ride down to the search area but critically, if you boot, don't leave the board behind. Always take it with you.
Either do the downward grid-search on board or boot.

If the grid then needs to go uphill/ sidewaysand the terrain won't support booting: Inform the leader that you need to transition to skis,  suggest you get put on the outside, or somewhere less critical, transition fast & catch up.

My 2 cents.
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