Every year, avalanche workshops around the country show videos to backcountry skiers of avalanches caught on tape. It’s great for education and as a scare-you-straight tactic while witnessing the immense power of snow sliding down a mountain. Usually the footage is captured on a GoPro that the victim is wearing. It’s not often that the footage comes courtesy of the rescuer. Unfortunately in this video from the Tahoe area, the rescue was about as inept as can be, and is a good lesson on how not to perform an avalanche rescue.
Luckily the victim didn’t die. The issues are obvious – only 2 beacons, shovels and probes in a group of 5, missing avalanche shovel handle that slowed down the dig, and the rescuer for some insane reason taking his gloves off etc… For anyone who frequently tours and has taken at least a level 1 avalanche course, this video is downright painful to watch. I’d imagine it will be used by avy educators for years to come.
Stay safe out there.