speth wrote:I'm not trying to stir the pot, one because I'm not a skier, and two because I'm not really a Monday morning quarterback, but what is the consensus on airbags for backcountry skiing?
My impression is that they give a false sense of security and they open up terrain for people who aren't sure of themselves, but maybe I'm looking at it from a "novice skier" perspective? Do they actually work, or is it really a last-ditch-effort piece of equipment? The girl from the story is obviously not a beginner, but she has one... Should this be a standard piece of safety equipment in avalanche terrain?
All of the above. They work, but they also encourage some people to go places they shouldn't. I imagine within a decade they'll be almost as standard as beacon/shovel/probe (probably at least as common as avalungs are now). The "trick" is to not make riskier line selections because of the airbag.
I don't have one yet, but will get one soon-ish. I hear rumors on the internets of a possible game-changer coming from Arc'teryx and/or Black Diamond.