Avalanche accident in Madrisa area


"We skied about 80m to the right of the official Chüecalanda slope from the top, as seen from below, into the left part of the slope. On the third or fourth descent, I was skiing about 50 meters ahead in the fall line in the left part of the slope. My colleague was waiting at the top. When I stopped, I heard a dull "wham" sound. Right after that, I realized I was moving again. I realized I must be in a snow slab and pulled the release handle without a problem. I immediately got a grip on the deployment handle and pulling down also happened without any problems. Both airbags inflated and I slid down about knee to hip deep buried, supine and facing the valley with the snow slab.

After triggering the ABS®, I pressed my hands in front of my face so that I would have a hollow space in front of my face in case of a total burial. The avalanche gently pulled me along. There was no tugging. I was always floating on the avalanche. At no time did it pull me down.I think after about 12 seconds the avalanche and I came to a stop. After the standstill, no additional snow came from above. At the stop, I was buried about up to my knees/mid thighs and in an upright position. With my hands I was able to uncover and open the bindings.My partner came along and gave me support. We then informed the piste service on Madrisa. Later we went to inspect the avalanche again. The man from the piste service joined us. He was very amazed at the extent of the avalanche. That morning (or possibly the day before?), the piste service had shot in from the helicopter about 15 meters above the break to the right of the rock (seen from below). There was no release. The layer of snow on which the avalanche slid was hard frozen.In summary, I can say that I was able to deploy the ABS® backpack without any problem and that the two airbags inflated quickly and completely.

Last summer I had purchased the backpack and did a test deployment. This winter, I practiced moving to the deployment handle every time I used the ABS® Backpack (even while driving)."

M. P.