The Southern Hemisphere Alpine Conference (SHAC) will be back in 2019. SHAC occurs every two years and is the only event of its kind in the southern hemisphere. The conference brings together snow safety professionals, commercial snow and alpine organisations, guiding companies and industry influencers for two days of collaboration. SHAC will provide you with the opportunity to engage with key industry influencers and decision makers.
– 2017 SHAC Delegate
I think the whole conference delegation found this topic a very useful one and am sure that most if not all of us went back to our workplaces and applied this thinking in some way or another.
Manuel Genswein has 26 years of experience in developing technology, techniques and strategies for avalanche rescue, avalanche prevention and risk management. He teaches avalanche professionals in 28 countries, primarily with a focus on “train the trainer” programmes and course curriculum development. Manuel actively participates for 20 years in the ICAR Avalanche Rescue Commission and has made active contributions to several ICAR recommendations and currently running working groups. He has published his research in conference papers at ISSW or in journals like PLOS ONE. In UIAA SafeCom and ETSI workgroups, Manuel has contributed to standards for avalanche transceivers, probes and shovels. For a more sustainable future of research and development in mountain safety, Manuel has initiated the project of MountainSafety.Info in collaboration with IFMGA, UIAA, NATO WMCOE and the SLF Avalanche Institute.
Talk: State of the Art in Avalanche Rescue
This talk will give a comprehensive summary of the most recent research and development projects in avalanche rescue, as well as the most up to date techniques, methods, systems and strategies. In the last 25 years, avalanche rescue has been systematised and optimised in almost every aspect of search, excavation, avalanche patient care, operational risk management, equipment as well as the pedagogical and didactical approach to teach the various user groups from novice to expert level. Equally, the approach and tools applied in the research of avalanche rescue procedures has dramatically changed from a mainly subjective “expert consensus” style to a quantitative and statistical base to allow an informed and analytical decision making process. With a combination of retrospective statistical data and prospective, quantitative field test data, modern R&D in avalanche rescue is mainly based on (Monte Carlo) simulations, allowing to discover the “most survival chance optimised” approach.
Recent technical and strategical developments have increased the survival chances for avalanche victims. Still hundreds of people, primarily recreationists, get caught and buried by snow avalanches every year. About 100 die each year in the European Alps–and many more worldwide. Refining concepts for avalanche rescue means to optimise the procedures such that the survival chances are maximised in order to save the greatest possible number of lives. Avalanche rescue includes several parameters related to terrain, natural hazards, the people affected by the event, the rescuers, and the applied search and rescue equipment. The numerous parameters and their complex interaction make it unrealistic for a rescuer to take, in the urgency of the situation, the best possible decisions without clearly structured, easily applicable decision support systems. In order to analyse which measures lead to the best possible survival outcome in the complex environment of an avalanche accident, we present a numerical approach, namely a Monte Carlo simulation. We demonstrate the application of Monte Carlo simulations for two typical, yet tricky questions in avalanche rescue: (1) calculating how deep one should probe in the first passage of a probe line depending on search area, and (2) determining for how long resuscitation should be performed on a specific patient while others are still buried. In both cases, we demonstrate that optimised strategies can be calculated with the Monte Carlo method, provided that the necessary input data are available. Our Monte Carlo simulations also suggest that with a strict focus on the "greatest good for the greatest number", today's rescue strategies can be further optimised in the best interest of patients involved in an avalanche accident.
Ilya lives in Revelstoke BC where he divides his winters between Avalanche Canada (where he thinks about conditions over huge geographic regions and preaches the gospel of public avalanche safety) and working as a heli-ski guide (where he thinks about slope-scale conditions and indulges his hedonistic tendencies). A long time ago he earned a master degree working with a GIS avalanche applications and taught Canadian Avalanche Association professional avalanche courses (CAA ITP). More recently, in their spare time, he and Tumbler operated as Canadian Avalanche Rescue Dog Association (CARDA) search team.
Talk: Avalanche safety innovations: a personal perspective on Canadian contributions
The combination of big mountains and abundant opportunities for people to enjoy them means Canada’s history is peppered with both tragic avalanche accidents and creative safety innovations. Ilya’s work as a heli-ski guide and Avalanche Canada forecaster bridges a variety of avalanche sectors, he works in a wide range of snowpacks, travels on both skis and snowmobile, and lives by (at least some) of the Canadian approaches to avalanche safety. While much of the work of avalanche pros around the world is similar, exploring the differences is often interesting and can contribute to improvements at home.
Manuel Genswein - State of the art in avalanche rescue & AvaLife
Mark Sedon - When to put a persistent deep slab instability to bed
Also our Alpine Gala Dinner guest speaker, presenting 21st Century Exploration
Peter Bilous - So What? Choosing, Interpreting and Prioritising Field Tests and Observations
Anna Easthope - Avalanche Dog team on site, what to expect and how to get the most from this resource
Kevin Fogolin - Assessment, Development and Implementation of an Avalanche Risk Management Program at Lotte Arai Resort, Japan
Ben Corcoran - Skills Active Industry Training Update
Tom Willmott - Professional Judgment & Decision-Making: using the tool of Reflection to enhance learning and make better decisions
Kevin Boekholt - Lessons learnt on the Job. An insight into common mistakes guides make!
Malin Zachau - Hypothermia prevention and management in Avalanche victims
Stephen Hunter - Successful live found with search dogs after long burial times
David Poulet - Avalanche Risk Mitigation: Thinking about Remote Avalanches Control Systems
Kevin Thompson - Milford Road Risk Management – Sharing is caring!
Peter Zimmer - ICAR and LandSAR – the value in belonging
Todd Redpath - How good will the skiing be next winter? Sensitivity of snow seasons in the Otago Mountains to climate variability
Elliot Smith - Skiing the Pamir: Avalanche Management for Expedition Skiing
Ilya Storm - Avalanche Safety Innovations: A Personal Perspective on Canadian Contributions
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