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Zinermann: safety on the snow!

by Zinermann Zinermann
24 February 2016

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If you want to ski or snowboard off-piste, you need more than just the standard equipment: ski boots and bindings.

To freeride you must have the appropriate basic safety equipment to handle the hidden dangers of the mountains in winter with a suitable safety margin. Let’s take a look together.

  • Avalanche beacon and probe: this piece of equipment does not stop avalanches but finds people trapped by avalanches. It is an essential transceiver for locating and digging out a freerider as quickly as possible. This probe should be worn close to the body (under a jacket or fleece) and transmitting before beginning any unsupervised outing on the snow. It must be kept on all the time while skiing and only turned off at the end.

  • Shovel. Keep a shovel in your rucksack. It is vital to help dig out an injured person quickly in the event of an avalanche. Choose a good alloy shovel with a fairly long telescopic handle and an ergonomic grip so it is easy to use.

  • Take a probe with you too, which will let you establish the exact point and depth of the trapped person.

  • Finally, choose a good helmet for ski mountaineering and freeriding. Furthermore, if you want to follow all the safety rules then you could also add the following to your equipment.

  • An Airbag rucksack, especially if you’re an off-piste loving freerider: when worn, these rucksacks considerably increase the buoyancy of someone trapped by an avalanche.

  • An Avalung, a mouthpiece device to breathe under snow.

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