It's a harrowing moment: A partner in your backcountry team has gone down in a slide and is completely buried. Your beacon has brought you to their location in the avalanche field, but you still have to find them underneath all the snow–and do so quickly–so you can excavate them and remove them from a potentially fatal situation. As part of Safety Week, we linked up with Zahan Billimoria, and had him break down the proper strategic probing technique.
The TGR crew practicing a full avalanche rescue. Max Ritter photo.
From making sure you probe strike perpendicular to the snowpack with two hands on your probe, to creating a spiral with your probe strikes around the victim's approximate location in 25-centimeter increments, Billimoria walks you through everything you need to know to quickly go from locating the member of your party caught in the slide to actually getting that person out of the avalanche field.