leggaj5 wrote:Newb question: So in this case, they could see the hand of the buried skier right away...should they have skiied to the clue before switching the beacon to search (assuming that it shouldn't take as long as it did in the video) or is the first step always to switch to search mode? Granted it shouldn't take that long to turn on search, but in a situation where every second is precious, should you act on the visible clue first?
In the time it took me to write this it looks like jmc5040 responded as well. I agree it's a personal call that's situation dependent and I don't disagree with jmc5040's advice.
Here's how I would have liked to have seen my friends handle the situation...
1. Call out "avalanche!" to direct anyone fiddling with their equipment or enjoying the view to direct their attention back to the caught skier.
2. Maintain visual on the victim.
3. Person who sees victim's hand from original vantage point calls it out.
4. Someone take charge.
5. Determine if scene is safe or if there is risk of a second slide (appears that may be a risk here).
6. Leader tells one companion to stay put as lookout who can rescue the rescuers if needed.
7. Leader tells second companion to assemble shovel and stay put (so that beacon search can commence upslope of glove if it's not the victim).
8. Leader skis down to hand sticking out of snow to determine if it is victim (in this case it is, if not, all beacons on search and beacon search commences).
9. Leader announces to companion assembling shovel that he has located victim and to ski down to assist with shoveling.
10. Leader assembles shovel and begins strategic shoveling (i.e. on your knees down slope with gloves on)
11. Companion arrives to assist with shoveling.
12. Victim's head is cleared first if possible. If victim was injured, spotter can call 911 if he/she hasn't already and CPR commenced.
13. Dig out victim, don't attempt to pull victim out.
Just my take on things and I've probably left a few steps out. Yes it's arm chair quarterbacking but with some very basic training the rescue in this video could have gone a whole lot quicker, i.e. victim's head uncovered in under a minute. Glad it ended well.