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Glossary Index

Avalanche Institute


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Avalanche Balloon

Also: ABS, ABS System, Avalanche Balloon System

A relatively new, and expensive, device for preventing fatalities in avalanches. A self-inflating balloon in a small rucksack is carried and in the event of an avalanche a rip-cord is pulled to deploy the balloon. The balloon either keeps the person on top of the snow or at least shallowly buried under the balloon which stays on the surface.

Use of this device is not widespread, but it is in use. Particularly in europe where it is gaining acceptance. It has been introduced in North America and is used by some guide services and some individuals but is still uncommon.

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