Companion rescue skills will keep you and your partners alive. A Companion Rescue Skills course is essential for all backcountry recreationists of all kinds because it teaches essential search and rescue techniques.
The Companion Rescue Skills course is an important refresher for backcountry riders or climbers who have already taken their AST 1 course. This hands-on, one-day companion rescue skills course takes place outdoors.
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October 30th 2021
Avalanche companion rescue is a skill that all backcountry recreationists must have. The goal is to avoid being caught in an avalanche but if it ever happens to your group, you need to know exactly what to do. Companion rescue is introduced in the AST 1 course but avalanche rescue is too involved to cover everything in a few hours.
More importantly, companion rescue skills need to be refreshed every year. Companion rescue is an emergency, so we recommend everyone take a companion rescue skills course. This one-day class teaches you how to respond to a variety of avalanche rescue scenarios you would not have covered in your AST 1 course.
Here’s what you’ll learn:
An avalanche is a chaotic event. People do not rise to the occasion, they fall to their lowest level of training. Your instructor will show you how to respond like a professional rescuer.
Some avalanche accidents involve two people being buried in the same avalanche. The numbers on your transceiver may jump back and forth. We will teach you the best techniques for distinguishing between the two signals to find your companions quickly.
You will learn how to pin point probe, a technique developed by search & rescue experts. The faster you get a strike, the sooner you start digging.
Digging out a buried person is the most time consuming part of an avalanche rescue. An avalanche is a huge mass of snow sliding down the mountain. Strike team shovelling is what we teach so that you can position your shovelling resources efficiently.
Sometimes avalanche burials happen with less than ideal results. Avalanche probes are up to 3 meters long but happens when the burial is deeper than the probe? The companion rescue skills course will teach you how to solve the problem.
What if you are touring and your group come upon another group’s avalanche accident and someone’s transceiver wasn’t turned on? In your companion rescue skills course, you’ll learn search techniques to deal with a buried subject without a transmitting signal.
Search & rescue group members, mountain guides, patrollers, and avalanche forecasters all must practice frequently. We are constantly getting updated on the newest techniques and putting those into practice so they are prepared. Pros practice early and often and you should too.