Monday, February 6, 2012

Avalanche Airbag in Action at the Coloradikal Backyard BBQ

The video footage below was caught on January 25th at an unsanctioned snowboard freeride contest near Montezuma, Colorado. It features Pro Snowboarder Meesh Hytner getting caught in a class 3 avalanche. Fortunately she was able to deploy her BCA Float 30 avalanche airbag, which allowed her to remain on the surface for the duration of the slide, and escape the incident without injury.

Videographer Tyler Malay was filming the grassroots event, called the Coloradikal Backyard BBQ, and captured the entire incident.

Most avalanche fatalities are the result of asphyxiation after a skier or snowboarder becomes buried in compacted snow. The majority of time during an avalanche rescue is spent on finding and excavating victims, thus preventing or minimizing burial depth is key to reducing fatalities. One study reports that 92% of victims will be found alive if recovery is accomplished within 15 minutes; however, the survival rate drops to 30% at 35 minutes after burial.

Avalanche airbags are designed to keep winter adventurers at or near the surface during an avalanche.

This video clearly shows how the product works in a real situation:

Hiking in


  1. Excellent article and a very informative video. I didn't realise that most people actually die from asphyxiation, I thought it would have been neck/back.

  2. Yes, I always thought the same myself. BCA (and others) have a very innovative product. If I remember correctly, I believe there's a similar product for cyclists, or at least something in the concept stage. The airbag deploys once the bike makes contact with something.


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