Interview Late

Interview Marek Tousek

Interview Nicolas Falquet (Pro Rider depuis 1999)

I have been wearing a Snowpulse bag for 3 years. The position of the airbag has obvious advantages in terms of floatability and protection and yet enough visibility is maintained once inflated. I got caught in an avalanche last year, and fortunately, I set my Snowpulse Airbag off. Since then I wear it every riding day. Light enough and very comfortable, it is an essential safety tool.

Interview Matt Peter - ACMG Guide

In the spring of 2009 I was caught in a small but serious avalanche while working as a heli-skiing guide. I was traversing above a slope that I was unwilling to ski when the avalanche occurred, pulling me into the steeper treed terrain below. I inflated my Snowpulse backpack immediately after I saw the crown open above me, and I was pulled in to the trees immediately after inflation. Within moment, I was knocked unconscious. The avalanche pulled me down through the trees and over a small cliff. I suffered multiple torn ligaments in my knee, a cracked femur, broken humerus, broken teeth, a basal skull fracture and major scalp lacerations. All the medical professionals agree that although I was seriously injured, I would have been killed without the protection that the Snowpulse backpack offered to my chest and neck. I am fortunate to be able to continue my guiding career, and this fortune goes out to the designers of the Snowpulse backpack. I am thankful that I was wearing a Snowpulse backpack on that day, and continue to wear one every day I ski.

Dan Treadway – Professional Skier and Snowmobiler

I was in Valdez Alaska this April [2010] on one of the best Alaska trips possible. It had snowed for a week before we arrived. The first day we showed up it went blue and we got a bit excited and tried to push things a bit too quick. The last run of my day was about 1000‘ of vert and had a suspicious wind layer. I dug a quick hand pit and felt ok on the face. On my 4th turn the whole slope released as a solid slab. I had a safe zone of a small spine to pull onto. I made it to the spine but as I pulled on my tails were pulled out behind me and I was thrown into the avy. Soon as this happened I deployed my bag with no problem. I was drug down about 800‘vert in a super fast moving slab and over a couple rock bands. When the dust cleared I was only buried to my thighs and had no injuries. The rocks I bounced off of should have broken something without the protection of the bag. After this experience I can‘t imagine going into the mountains without my Snowpulse.

Brap Zeerip – Recreational User

I was caught in an avalanche on Monday [May 3, 2010] and your Snowpulse air bag saved my life. It kept me higher in the snow as it slid, protected me in a head first impact with frozen debris and helped pull me forward and up as I swam for the surface when the slide was slowing down. I was alone and I am certain I would not have had a chance without your pack. The slide carried me down about 1500 ft of vertical on a 45 degree slope, both my skis broke and I am sore and bruised from head to toe. However without the Snowpulse I would not be writing this! Thanks for making a great product available, it will allow me to ski another day.

Eric Tulley - Recreational skier

I recently was caught in a slide while in the BC Backcountry and had to deploy my snowpulse airbag. The bag worked spectacularly and I was able to avoid burial.

Doug Workman Story – Heliski Guide

I just thought I‘d share a story with you and the good folks at Mica. It‘s a total validation of the Snowpulse packs you guys are smart enough to have. Tim and I have a very good friend named Doug Workman. Doug is from Jackson, Wyoming.

He‘s a heliski guide for High Mountain Heli as well as an avalanche patroller at Jackson Hole. He‘s also been a heliski guide up in Valdez,AK for many years. Back in January there was an avalanche fatality at the Jackson Hole ski resort. A patroller was buried while performing avalanche control work. He died about 1 week later. Our friend Doug was on the mountain doing avalanche control work at the time. He was understandably rattled by the death of his friend and the circumstances in which it happened. It seems that all normal procedures were followed.

Tim sensed that Doug was a bit upset, so he approached me about giving Doug a Snowpulse 45 liter pack as a late Christmas present. I agreed that it was a great idea and we sent one to him immediately. He received the pack in the middle of January.

Doug called me this morning to thank me yet again, and tell me a story. He was guiding for High Mountain Heli this past Friday. He and his group of 3 clients were skiing a clearing in the trees. They were observing standard backcountry etiquette. Doug ski cut the slope and then skied down toward an island of safety on the edge of the open slope near the tree line. As the guide, he decided to stay just above the safe zone so he‘d be able to observe his group during the descent. The first client came down to him and Doug directed him to drop down just a bit lower and move off into the trees. This client was a snowboarder. Doug then turned around to watch the next client descend.

When he turned back up hill to watch, he saw a big cloud of snow moving toward him. He looked down the mountain and realized that the boarder was not going to make it to the safe zone in time. He made the split-second decision to ski over and give the client a push. He did this and the client was headed safely toward the woods. At this point he thought to himself," if I can just get one good push off my ski poles I‘ll make it." He never got to plant his poles. Doug was swept up by the avalanche and carried down the mountain buried underneath the flow of snow. In his words, he tried to do all of the standard maneuvers, swim toward the surface, shed his skis, keep his face clear...and then he realized it was time to reach for the rip cord on his Snowpulse. He says it took him 3 tries to move his arm through the snow flow and reach the cord. Doug finally got his hand to the cord and pulled it. He instantly felt himself "hurdling toward the surface". When the avalanche settled Doug found himself on top of the avalanche and right next to the tree line. I asked him how his clients made out. He told me that the boarder was safely out of the way. It turns out that the slide was triggered by the second client. It broke right at his feet. The snow ripped the client‘s skis right off his feet but left the skier sitting on dirt while his skis disappeared into the avalanche. I asked Doug what he thinks would have happened if he hadn‘t had the Snowpulse. He told me that his clients were effectively "deer in the headlights". There was another guide with a group on a parallel slope with the same aspect as the one he‘d been skiing.

As often happens, there was a simultaneous slide that buried a client up to his waste.

The guide from that group never would have made it to Doug in time. The other heli guides were working a ridge across the valley. Since Doug‘s group had been skiing below tree line, the only landing zone for a heli would have been back at the top of the run. Help would not have come quickly from any direction.

It is Doug‘s considered opinion that he would have been buried and would not have been rescued in time. If it were not for the Snowpulse and Doug‘s ability to deploy the pack this story would have a different ending....or more likely...it wouldn‘t have been written As Louis Pasteur said, "Chance favors the prepared mind." or in this case, the prepared skier.

Skiing is Fun.

Helicopters are Cool.

Avalanches are Scary.

Shane Kroeger – Mica Heli Guides – Snowpulse Operational User

“At Mica Heli Guides, safety is our number one priority, and we use Snowpulse backpacks to give our guests the highest level of safety equipment possible.”

Rowan Harper – Sunshine Village Snowsafety Supervisor - Snowpulse Operational User

" The Sunshine ski patrol started wearing Snowpulse backpacks for control duties in 2009. We strongly believe that they may be the best piece of work safety equipment to come along in this industry in a long time. I sleep better knowing my team are wearing Snowpulse on the job!

Mike Douglas – Professional Skier – Snowpulse fan

'The Snowpulse pack just makes sense to me. If you spend as much time in the backcountry as I do, you want every possible safety advantage when you're out there. The Snowpulse pack gives me security without sacrificing performance.'

Bret Rasmussen – Professional snowmobiler and Snowpulse user

I haven’t worn an avalanche pack until I came across the Snowpulse. The packs that have been on the market seemed big, heavy and clumsy and so I avoided them. When I found the Snowpulse I determined that it was just what I have been looking for, lightweight, plenty of room for all my gear and I can recharge it with compressed air. It deploys from the shoulder straps and wraps around my head for additional protection, no other pack provides this, wow!

Swede – Bella Coola Helisports – Snowpulse Operational User

“Snowpulse backpacks have added an extra safety net for our operations, both for clients as well as guides, and the over all operation. Our clients are very impressed that we have added Snowpulse to be included in their package. As I see it, our operation clearly show case our commitment to improve our safety net by adding Snowpulse to our already high safety level.”

M. Kern, F. Tschirky†, J. Schweizer M. Kern, F. Tschirky†, J. Schweizer: Field tests of some new avalanche rescue devices

A propos d’un airbag localisé près de la tête et de la nuque :

« …La localisation de l’airbag proche de la tête peut être considérée comme étant une réelle amélioration par rapport à l’airbag conventionnel… »

« …est capable de réduire les forces exercées sur la région des cervicales d’une victime d’avalanche… »

« …des données montrent que les charges sur cette région peuvent être réduites… »

« …la tête et donc les voies respiratoires étaient à la surface lorsque l’avalanche s’est arrêtée… »

J. Boyd MBBS, P. Haegeli PhD, B. Abu-Laban MD MHSc, M. Shuster MD, JC. Butt MD CM : Patterns of death among avalanche fatalities: a 21-year review

« …les traumatismes dans la région du thorax étaient les plus communs, et représentaient 46% (11/24) des cas avec traumatisme simple…Les blessures au niveau de la tête représentaient 42% (10/24) des cas avec traumatisme simple…8% (2/24) des traumatismes simples concernaient la nuque… »

Hermann Brugger MD : Should strategies for care of avalanche victims change?

« Les traumatismes dans le domaine de l’héli-ski et de l’hors-piste sont un facteur de risques plus important que ce que l’on pensait avant… »

« Les mesures préventives et les soins sur le terrain devraient concerner les traumatismes… »

Vous trouverez les articles complets sur www.cmaj.ca


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