Home > Trip Reports > February 22, 2003, Crystal Mt South BC Avy FT

February 22, 2003, Crystal Mt South BC Avy FT

WA Cascades West Slopes South (Mt Rainier)
Posted by ron j on 2/24/03 8:41pm
MadDog and I joined Gerry Haugen and Darryl Olson putting 8 intermediate avy students through the paces, thus putting in a day "giving blood" for the mounties on Saturday.  The trip cumulated in a mock "avalanche disaster" wherein there were 5 buried "victims" from 2 different groups.  Here

the students dig out the last "victim" of the multiple burial scenario. This one was buried about 6 feet below the surface. With a total of 5 "burials", 3 with beacons and 2 without, the students did pretty well, "saving" 1 of the non-beacon equipped "victims" (with an organized probe line) and 2 of the beacon equipped "victims". Not surprisingly, the deepest burial did not "survive".

Snow stability tests for the day revealed about two feet of (fist) soft snow above a hard ice layer with some old faceting on top of the ice layer and one to four finger hardness 2 -3 ft below that.  Our RB failed  on a 3 (Q2) at the 2' ice layer and other tests supported that one.  Tests were done on a north facing aspect SE of Henskin @ 5700 ft elev. & 38 degree slope angle.
Great charity work there, Ron! I've done a few multiple burial practices like this with the folks up at GAH in Golden when I've been at their huts with them, and it is a MUCH better bit of practice on all fronts than the typical 1:1 shallowly buried beacon search drill many folks do maybe once a year. I've not done one in over ayear now, so I will find a nice warm day with crappy conditions sometime in the next month or two to spend a few hours with some friends doing just this sort of drill, which exercises group dynamics, leadership, challenging beacon searching, probe lines, reading the slope (assuming the person who does the burying knows where victims might come to rest in a real avalanche), etc etc.

Thanks, Jim.  Yeah, I agree, it's a real eye opener to go through the mock "avy disaster" for the first time.  Now every time I watch others go through it I learn more.  

Jim - give a yell when you want to do that practice - I'd be interested.

Will do. Might even be smart to post to the partner board here to scare up a few more folks - it would be nice to have enough to have a few folks to do setup and a nice small crowd to do the rescue, and then rotate at least once.

That's a great idea, Jim.  I might come out to play, too.

It's always very interesting to see how each beacon works, and even the different range findings that are able to be picked up.  The improved technology of the newer beacons makes finding the "hidden" beacon an easier target, as long as the owner knows how to operate that particular unit.  Hopefully in a real case scenario these skills and beacons would provide a quick find. Our students did a great job.  

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ron j
2003-02-25 04:41:25