The following video was put together by Backcountry Access, a company that develops avalanche beacons, shovels, probes and backpacks.
Following is a review of the key points from the video:
Technique for Rescue with One Person
- Start downhill of the probe strike.
- Make the hole approximately a wingspan wide.
- Begin shoveling 1.5 times the burial depth downhill.
- Save energy by shoveling snow to the sides of the pit.
- Once you have dug down to a point where the snow surface is above your waste, begin to shovel the snow downhill.
- Attempt to get at the victim's face as soon as possible.
- When you get to the victim, uncover the head and chest and establish an airway.
- Only leave the scene for help if there is a surplus of manpower or the victim has been excavated.
- In a shallow burial (less than 1 meter) start shoveling just downhill of the probe.
- In deeper burials one rescuer should start just downhill of the probe. The second rescuer should start to dig downhill 1.5 times the burial depth.
- Rescuers should shovel snow to the sides until the hole is waist deep. Once it becomes necessary to lift snow above your waist, then start shoveling the snow downhill.
- If the victim is unconscious when you reach him, the first thing that you should do is to clear the airway and begin CPR.
--Jason D. Martin