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Avalanche

In October of last year, the Canadian Avalanche Centre (CAC) issued a warning about the dangers of relying on smartphone apps that were being marketed as economical alternatives to avalanche transceivers. But a new smartphone app and add-on hardware component could provide an alternative that is not only cheaper than dedicated avalanche transceivers, but also provides additional functionality. Read More

The smartphone is like the modern day, techy Swiss Army Knife. But it can't do everything. The Canadian Avalanche Centre says that avalanche rescue apps can not effectively replace dedicated avalanche beacons. Read More

All of the common avalanche safety gear – beacon, shovel, probe, airbags and breathing devices – are aimed at preventing burial and/or suffocation. But burial isn't the only way avalanches cause death. The Canadian Avalanche Centre estimates that somewhere between a quarter and a third of avalanche deaths are caused by trauma, not burial. The Mountain Airbag Harness from French manufacturer UBAK protects against both burial and blunt trauma. Read More
If you're looking for a multi-functional shovel for apocalyptic zombie slaying, you'll want the Crovel. If, on the other hand, you plan to use the shovel for backcountry skiing, you'll want the K2 Rescue Shovel Plus Ice Axe. The new multi-functional shovel saves weight and space by combining several functions into one tool. Its name gives away two of those functions, but it has a few more. Read More
Ice cream and avalanches are two subjects that usually only fit together in a child's dreams, but Nestle is now looking at how research on one could help in making the other. The food company recently teamed up with an avalanche research center in Switzerland to study how ice crystals grow within ice cream as it sits in the freezer. Typically these crystals dilute the flavor of the ice cream while also making it harder to scoop and eat. By using the center's equipment and research with their own products, Nestle hopes to develop a method for slowing the ice growth and produce a creamy dessert that will retain its taste and texture much longer. Read More
Avalanche airbags have been around for decades and have been gaining a lot of steam in the North American market over the past few years. These airbags are almost always integrated into or added onto backpacks, but The North Face has a different idea: avalanche airbag clothing. Read More
Beacons and probes are slow and tedious. Avalanche airbags are large and expensive. The Rotauf MRK5, however, offers some serious avalanche protection advantages in a small package. Read More
Avalanche airbags, designed to prevent burial in an avalanche by providing extra buoyancy, aren’t new but until now skiers have had to activate the bag themselves. If they don’t realise in time they have set of an avalanche it may be too late for the airbag to be of use, resulting in burial and often, death. ABS has introduced a world-first - a remote, networked electronic system which allows airbag inflation to be triggered by other members of a skiing party, allowing them to help each other in an emergency. The new wireless system can be retrofitted to old-style backpacks with double airbags. Read More
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