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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Has the Avalung become a joke?

    It seems like the evidence keeps mounting that airbag use results in greatly increased survival rates in avalanche scenarios, whereas I haven't read any concrete statistics regarding Avalung use - just some anecdotes on Black Diamond's website. I've also read about victims who didn't have time to chomp down on the mouthpiece before being buried, and at least one where the skier's Avalung pack was ripped off his back in the slide. The overall impression I have of the Avalung is that it offers moderate safety benefits at best, whereas airbags seem to be quite effective at preventing burials.

    With airbags continuing to drop in price, I'm wondering why anyone would actually choose to wear an Avalung over an airbag. Spending an extra $400 seems like a small price for a tool that is statistically proven to work, versus one that has no real data to back it up.

    ~A concerned Avalung (and future Airbag) owner

  2. #2
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    Oct 2003
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    I always wondered why not just ski all day with the airbag inflated to maximize your safetey.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    NorCal
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    Neither are guaranteed to do anything. Both could increase your chances. Don't get hung up on the stats- they are too limited to technically make a statistically significant inference for either. However, that only means there isn't enough data, not that it doesn't work.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Also, use of both products is not mutually exclusive if you have a non pack integrated Avalung unit. Considering how cheap and available Avalungs are, I don't see the harm in using one regardless of one's opinions on the efficacy of airbag packs.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    I've often wondered about O2 filled ABS with low permeabilty fabric panel near the intake point of an integrated avalung and, say, the back of your neck. In the event you do get buried the AB slowly leaks O2 into the snowpack around you.

    Moronic?

    Edit: patent pending just in case. Lol
    "Those 1%ers are not an avaricious "them" but in reality the most entrepreneurial of "us". If we had more of them and fewer grandstanding politicians, we would all be better off."
    - Bradley Schiller, Prof. of Economics, Univ. Nevada - Reno.

  6. #6
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    Nov 2009
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    Avalung seems a little more useful in a treewell scenario.
    If the shocker don't rock her, then Dr. Spock her. Dad.

  7. #7
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    Aug 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by flatNshallow View Post
    I've often wondered about O2 filled ABS with low permeabilty fabric panel near the intake point of an integrated avalung and, say, the back of your neck. In the event you do get buried the AB slowly leaks O2 into the snowpack around you.

    Moronic?

    Edit: patent pending just in case. Lol
    Big explosion hazard. Like flames type explosion, not just compressed gas explosion.

  8. #8
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    Mar 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by angrysasquatch View Post
    Big explosion hazard. Like flames type explosion, not just compressed gas explosion.
    The idea of O2 as a gas was debated on Wildsnow. The consensus was that oxygen can result in a freeze up which could hinder gas deployment. The risk of fire is probably more realistic than an explosion in a non confined space. on another note, the Apollo 1 fire 45 years ago resulted from 100% oxygen saturation in a confined space for hours and when the capsule ignited, pressure built until the capsule ruptured. I find it very doubtful that you would get an explosion from deflating oxygen from an air bag. Pure oxygen is used in health facilities all the time, and open flames are prohibited due to the fire danger.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bushman View Post
    Avalung seems a little more useful in a treewell scenario.
    Winner, winner, chicken dinner....
    "True love is much easier to find with a helicopter"

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jethro View Post
    The idea of O2 as a gas was debated on Wildsnow. The consensus was that oxygen can result in a freeze up which could hinder gas deployment. The risk of fire is probably more realistic than an explosion in a non confined space. on another note, the Apollo 1 fire 45 years ago resulted from 100% oxygen saturation in a confined space for hours and when the capsule ignited, pressure built until the capsule ruptured. I find it very doubtful that you would get an explosion from deflating oxygen from an air bag. Pure oxygen is used in health facilities all the time, and open flames are prohibited due to the fire danger.
    So more of a transportation hazard? Not many ignition sources under a deposit. I think I'd be inclined to take the explosion risk under snow in the wide open outdoors with a likely breeze in exchange for a few more minutes...
    "Those 1%ers are not an avaricious "them" but in reality the most entrepreneurial of "us". If we had more of them and fewer grandstanding politicians, we would all be better off."
    - Bradley Schiller, Prof. of Economics, Univ. Nevada - Reno.

  11. #11
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    Oct 2009
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    What is blue and goes in your mouth?












    hint: It's not a Smurf cock

  12. #12
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    Feb 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by bushman View Post
    Avalung seems a little more useful in a treewell scenario.
    This is why if/when I move up to an airbag pack, I'll probably attach an avalung to the side that doesn't have the airbag pull.
    "High risers are for people with fused ankles, jongs and dudes who are too fat to see their dick or touch their toes.
    Prove me wrong."
    -I've seen black diamonds!

    throughpolarizedeyes.com

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    T-town, CO. USA
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    I have (and use) both.
    I use the Avalung for below tree line BC skiing since most likely an incident there will be an inverted tumble into a tree well or a small, tight avy path pocket pulling out. Plus it's lighter weight.
    On the other hand, whenever I'm heading into wide open, above tree line alpine terrain, I take my ABS pack. An incident there will most likely be widespread and encompass more snow and power. In that case, an airbag pack is the safest bet.

    P.S.-Last year my buddy was buried for over 45 minutes... calmly waiting and breathing through his Avalung until he was found and dug out. It saved his life.
    Last edited by DropCliffsNotBombs; 01-28-2012 at 08:59 AM.
    Leave No Turn Unstoned!

  14. #14
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    Sep 2010
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    Well if you do survive the trauma (most avalanche fatalities) I would feel lucky to have either option. I would prefer not to be buried, but if I was I would prefer to have an avalung than not.

    So no it isn't a joke. Frankly for not understanding this simple fact you are the joke OP.
    Brought to you by Carl's Jr.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    698
    X2 on the treewell value.

    DROPCLIFFS that anecdote is gold. In that scenario it's what I would hope for, some extra time.

    Sent from my satellite using TGR Forums

  16. #16
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    Oct 2003
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    The best solution is to get both and duct tape and ziptie the Avalung to your airbag pack.

    Avalungs protect against more situations than an airbag, if less reliably: airway protection while trying to ski out of an avalanche or slough, SIS (snow immersion suffocation) deaths like treewell or deep pow, and if you are critically buried in an avalanche, airbag or not.

    Proper use of an Avalung is key to making the reliability near 100%. Skiing without the mouthpiece in is like driving your car with the seatbelt unbuckled. You don't wait until you see the oncoming semi to buckle up. Have it in and breath around it.

    The bottom line is that the Avalung complements an airbag very well.
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  17. #17
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    Aug 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by DropCliffsNotBombs View Post
    I have (and use) both.
    I use the Avalung for below tree line BC skiing since most likely an incident there will be an inverted tumble into a tree well or a small, tight avy path pocket pulling out. Plus it's lighter weight.
    On the other hand, whenever I'm heading into wide open, above tree line alpine terrain, I take my ABS pack. An incident there will most likely be widespread and encompass more snow and power. In that case, an airbag pack is the safest bet.

    P.S.-Last year my buddy was buried for over 45 minutes... calmly waiting and breathing through his Avalung until he was found and dug out. It saved his life.
    This to me is the best answer to have or consider both. And your buddy is a stud. I can see myself being calm for 5, 10, maybe 15 minutes, but certainly not 45 unless I told myself I'm a goner.

  18. #18
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    Nov 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by DropCliffsNotBombs View Post
    P.S.-Last year my buddy was buried for over 45 minutes... calmly waiting and breathing through his Avalung until he was found and dug out. It saved his life.
    Thanks for sharing that. Makes me think having mine isn't such a joke...
    Quote Originally Posted by dfinn View Post
    A better option would be to quit whining and go ski somewhere with less people around.
    __________________________________________________ __________

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  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    UT
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    I treat it as cheap insurance, though I've never had to use it, yet...knock on wood.

  20. #20
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    May 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by systemoverblow'd View Post
    Well if you do survive the trauma (most avalanche fatalities)
    Wrong. Not most.

    24%

    http://www.cmaj.ca/content/180/5/507.long
    Life is not lift served.

  21. #21
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    Dec 2010
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    Nova Scotia, Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by flatNshallow View Post
    I've often wondered about O2 filled ABS with low permeabilty fabric panel near the intake point of an integrated avalung and, say, the back of your neck. In the event you do get buried the AB slowly leaks O2 into the snowpack around you.

    Moronic?

    Edit: patent pending just in case. Lol
    Use scuba mixes for shallow water, still breathable, but less flammable.

  22. #22
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    Sep 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hohes View Post
    What a retard. Ever think trauma caused people to suffocate? This isn't about an autopsy it is about your risk of dying. And trauma is one of the main factors.

  23. #23
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    Dec 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by systemoverblow'd View Post
    What a retard. Ever think trauma caused people to suffocate? This isn't about an autopsy it is about your risk of dying. And trauma is one of the main factors.
    The FACT is most avy deaths are due to suffocation. Not trauma.
    All of the bc pack technology out there is for either breathing while buried, or not getting buried in the first place...
    Leave No Turn Unstoned!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by DropCliffsNotBombs View Post
    The FACT is most avy deaths are due to suffocation. Not trauma.
    Being trapped in snow because you have a broken back. Yeah, cause of death is suffocation but you probably wouldn't have suffocated if you could move. You may not be able to breathe but your inability to do anything about it is because you hit a rock, a tree, went over a cliff, etc. It's like saying the tree the you drove into killed you when in fact it was the 19 beers you had that did it.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    T-town, CO. USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by systemoverblow'd View Post
    Being trapped in snow because you have a broken back. Yeah, cause of death is suffocation but you probably wouldn't have suffocated if you could move. You may not be able to breathe but your inability to do anything about it is because you hit a rock, a tree, went over a cliff, etc. It's like saying the tree the you drove into killed you when in fact it was the 19 beers you had that did it.
    You think that you're going to able to move around under the snowpack if your back's not broken? You're not even going to be able to wiggle a finger! You've never actually been in a slide or buried have you? I have...
    Trauma-"shcmauma", it's all about being able to breathe. My friends who have died in slides over the years have all died from one thing. Not being able to breathe...
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