About BCMC Events Schedule Club Forums Bookings News - Media Club Resources Search
Trip Report
Hi team. Thanks for coming out last Wednesday. I just wanted to follow up with two specific points on transceiver search and how they relate to the 4 scenarios we ran. 
Our scenarios were quite ideal. Of our task force, we had two people on the transceiver strike team.  They were organized 15-20m apart and directly descended the slide path. This had good horizontal separation. Generally one searcher went for one victim respectively. 
In our scenarios, if both searchers zeroed in (or believe they have zeroed in) on the same victim, what are we to do? We must mark the first signal, or otherwise make the transceiver "un-latch," then we must return to the coarse search path where we initially picked up the signal. We must ensure no part of the track or the deposit is skipped over.
  1. Put a single, obvious, piece of your own personal gear on the snow where you left your signal search.
    1. Do not use rescue equipment. Do not use something small. Do not abandon gear on the slope haphazardly; this can contaminate the scene in case avalanche dogs are required.
    2. Good items to use: helmet, ski pole, ice axe, picket.
    3. Bad items to use: ski, backpack, glove, tuque.
    4. These items are either required for travel, required for rescue, are too small, or contain a lot of scent.
  2. Perform your own discrete coarse search.
    1. Do not directly run over to the other strike team member; you may have found a unique signal.
  3. If you both have the same signal, ensure closer transceiver strike team member has a genuine signal and is competently zeroing-in on their victim.
  4. Once your transceiver is close enough to do so, flag; suppress; or mark the other strike team member's victim's transceiver.
  5. Perform micro strip or 3-circle method to ensure there is no close-proximity second burial.
  6. Return to the piece of gear you placed in step 1. Pick it up or put it back on.
  7. Resume signal search (or immediately start coarse search if you have the second signal).
In our scenarios, we had a large task force available. What do we do when there is only one rescuer available? This is a multi faceted topic with a lot of points touching on burial depth, triage, availability of data (e.g. Barryvox W-Link), and travel time between victims (deposit size or track length). The one point I want to reinforce (similar to above) is to ensure that no part of the slide path or deposit is skipped.
Assuming 1 rescuer and 2 victims:
  1. Perform a zig-zag signal search down the entire slide path and deposit starting at the highest last-seen point. 
  2. When the first signal is discovered, put a single, obvious, piece of your own personal gear on the snow where you left your signal search. 
  3. Perform your coarse search, fine search, and probe grid.
  4. Excavate the victim, if appropriate based on triage principles.
  5. Flag, mark, suppress, or turn off the victim's transceiver.
  6. If a second signal is found nearby (perhaps ~5m), employ a micro strip or 3-circle technique.
  7. If there is no second signal, or the signal is far away (perhaps +10m), return to the signal search where your personal item was left behind in step 2. Pick it up or put it back on
  8. Do not resume signal search from the excavation point of victim 1.
These solo-rescuer and multi victim principles can be scaled up to a near infinite amount. The more victims and the fewer rescuers, the more important triage principles are. 
Hopefully we will never need these skills we practice.
Sub-optimal signal/coarse search, 1 rescuer
_Sub-optimal signal/coarse search, 1 rescuer
Trip Reporter
22.03.2019 (1466 Days Ago)
Trip Report TitleCompanion rescue practice 190320
Rate Trip Report
0 votes
Order by: 
Per page: 
  • There are no comments yet
Related Reports
20.02.2023 0 comments 67 views Category: Hiking 
Fun snowy day in the Callaghan.
04.10.2022 0 comments 340 views Category: Scrambling 
Weekend adventure to a classic scramble
22.06.2022 0 comments 438 views Category: Hiking 
Last minute evening hike up F&F in excellent weather
26.03.2022 0 comments 469 views Category: Trail Running 
Taking the trails from NVan MEC potentially as far as Norvan falls but depending what folks want, we'll turn around at Lynn Headwaters.
26.03.2022 0 comments 403 views Category: Trail Running 
Easy going run pace starting at the Old Buck trailhead at the base of Seymour heading to Deep Cove and looping back via roads
Copyright © 2023 British Columbia Mountaineering Club