How does an airbag backpack work?
Additional safety accessory for freeride skiing, the airbag backpack is increasingly used. Become indispensable for many off-piste skiers, this item complements the indispensable trio VAD (Victim Avalanche Detector), shovel and probe.
Indeed, when it is correctly trigged, the airbag improves the chance of avalanche survival by 50%.
Airbag backpack advantages
The airbag minimizes the skier burying during an avalanche. Thus, the victim will be localized with less difficulty. When we know that the chances of survival decrease considerably after 15 minutes, it is better to be equipped!
All airbag backpacks work according to the same principle. From the first signs of avalanche, it is necessary to pull on the handle that will release the air under pressure of the cartridges. The balloons will thus increase the volume of the skier to benefit from the physical principle of inverse segregation (the larger particles tend to rise to the surface while the smaller sink).
The inflated airbags also keep the body as horizontal as possible. It is more difficult to rescue a skier stuck under snow vertically.
According to the Davos research center, the chances of survival of a person buried under an avalanche are 50%, while those of a non-buried or partially buried skier are about 97%! So, don’t hesitate, the ABS backpack becomes essential to enjoy the pristine slopes.
Limits of avalanche bags
Although the first efficiency statistics are very encouraging, the ABS bag is not an avalanche shield.
In some situations, the safety accessory will not save you. For example, when the snow is very heavy or very powdery, the skier will be crushed by snow or may be suffocated, even if he remains on the surface.
On the other hand, in case of non-disengagement of the skis, the victim will be automatically driven down. Also, if you don’t trigger the handle in time.
In addition, the airbag system floats the athlete head forward. In case of obstacles like a rock or a tree, the bag will not be able to help.
It is therefore important to remain cautious during your freeride outings, taking into account the weather conditions, the snowpack, training to use his airbag bag and his DVA ... Don't hesitate to ask all our questions in our shops. Indeed, our ski hire shop Tignes Val Claret Center, for example, has followed an Arva training and will be able to advise you on the freeride safety equipment you need.