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Rocky Mountain Ramblers Association

Avalanche beacons (transceivers) and probes are pieces of equipment intended to aid in recovery of a person buried in an avalanche. Training on travel in avalanche terrain and the use of avalanche rescue equipment should be taken from a professional. Practicing probing and beacon recovery following training is essential in order to become efficient in equipment use.  Avoiding avalanche burial is the primary objective when traveling in avalanche terrain. RMRA members should be familiar with and refer to:

which is the primary guidance for trips by the RMRA;

Ramblers also have course requirements for participants in activities that go into avalanche terrain, they may be read here.

Participants may find the checklist from the American Avalanche Institute helpful: Backcountry Avalanche Checklist.

The material listed in the following topics is intended to provide additional information on safe travel in avalanche terrain:

Avalanche Risk Management courses

Several organizations provide courses to manage risk in avalanche terrain. Avalanche Canada does not certify courses or instructors, rather they set standards for course materials. As part of the Instructor Agreement the instructor signed with Avalanche Canada, you should receive a book on Avalanche Risk Management as part of the course. Bring this to the attention of the Instructor, or Avalanche Canada if necessary. The Avalanche Canada website has an online tutorial and a list of organizations providing courses:

The following web sites are an example of two providers in the local area that RMRA members have used:




Avalanche Risk Management videos

Backcountry Access, an American equipment manufacturer, has a number of videos on various topics in their Companion Rescues series  

Some specific topics:

Other videos on the web:




Avalanche beacons reviews and research 

Various reviews on avalanche beacons can be found on the Internet. The technology is changing and the links and documentation available on the Internet changes. Using Google to search on "avalanche beacon reviews" is a way of accessing current information. It is also worthwhile seeking the current views of a professional while participating on a Recreational Avalanche Course. As of 2009 the following link had some research references:




Probing methods research paper

This paper examines two possible means to improve the speed and efficiency of probing in rescues where there is still a possibility for live recovery. Limiting the depth of probing is discussed and several alternative probing techniques are compared.



Additional information available on the web