THE BASIC RULE TO SKI IN A GROUP AND IN SAFETY
The security of the group depends directly on each skier of the group and the discipline among the group.
Your guide will give you information all through the run, but don’t forget the basic rules:
Respect your guide's instructions:
- number of skiers in the same slope;
- where to stop;
- lateral limits not to cross;
- don’t shout in vain, uselessly;
- ask to take pictures or to film, so that we can organize it without risking the security of the group.
If a skier falls:
- never ski above somebody who has just fallen in order to avoid snow falling on him/her, snow which may cover the person or hide some lost pieces of equipment;
- stop skiing in order to avoid causing an avalanche. The fallen skier is vulnerable;
- help the person by skiing towards him/her from the side.
- determine which ski is lost (left or right);
- remember the fall and the moment you lost the ski;
- search from below, depending on your analysis and the tracks in the snow, by dragging your ski stick laterally across the tracks.
How and where to stop:
- Never stop below the guide or the person who was skiing first;
- never ski towards the group with speed: (risk of collision; useless overloading when stopping);
- leave some space between the skiers as to not overload the slopes;
- stop well above any steep slope. This change of gradient is a weaker area in the snow pack;
- don’t stop at the bottom of gullies;
- always foresee an escape route and point the skis in that direction.
PLAN IN CASE OF AVALANCHE
IF YOU ARE CAUGHT IN AN AVALANCHE
When the snow starts moving:
- try to flee by skiing away, fight to keep standing and ski away;
- pull the handle of your ABS Airbag.
When you are caught in the moving snow mass:
- try to take off your skis and poles;
- fight to stay on the surface (swimming movements);
- close your mouth and protect your air passages;
- try to free yourself from the snow with all your strength the instant just before the avalanche stops. Push the snow with your arms in order to free your face.
If you are not caught in the avalanche:
The rescue organized by the survivors offers the best chance of succeeding, because it is immediate.
- First get to a safe place and look to see if you see somebody in the avalanche;
- don’t lose sight of the person;
- locate the place where the person was when the avalanche started;
- place the rest of the group in security;
- count the number of persons you see in order to determine how many people are buried under the snow;
- everyone sets his ARTVA on the "search” position;
- start with a visual and auditive search in the first search zone, with the ortovox on the search position, respecting the reception distances of your ortovox (20 m. to 40 m.);
- if you find material belonging to the victim, leave it on the spot, clearly visible;
- organize the search by dividing the surface of the avalanche (see the drawing);
- once you have found the victim, probe to locate the body before digging;
- switch off his ortovox and give first aid (resuscitation, traumatism, etc.);
- keep looking for other victims with the ortovox;
- immobilize and evacuate the victim.
RESEARCH METHOD WITH ARTVA
What to do:
- Set all the ARTVA on the search mode;
- start the search at the disappearing point of the victim (B);
- cover the "first search zone” by orientating the ortovox in all directions (sweep) to find a signal;
- as soon as a signal is heard (C) , orientate your ortovox on the horizontal plan to determine the direction to follow (best reception);
- walk a few meters in that direction, stop to adjust the direction to follow, then continue following the indications of the ortovox (sweep);
- when you have found the maximal reception point, probe to locate the victim;
- dig according to estimated depth of the victim.
Research with ARTVA - 1
Research with ARTVA - 2
O: PARTICIPANTS WITNESSES OF THE AVALANCHE
–› ACCESS WAY FOR THE RESCUERS
A: THE VICTIM’S POSITION AT THE START
B: DISAPPEARING POINT
C: FIRST SEARCH ZONE