Thomas Senf

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At this point, you must hold the transceiver just above the snow surface and determine the point with the smallest distance reading by bracketing.
Device with a marking function: Don’t mark the location of a buried subject until the location has been confirmed using a probe pole!


With limited resources (few rescuers) it is not possible to locate and dig out all the buried subjects at the same time. The question arises in which order the buried subjects shall be rescued. Subjects with higher chances of survival should be located and dug out first. Besides simple terrain factors, e.g. drop over a cliff, the burial depth and by the PULSE Barryvox® vital data are an important triage criteria.


Pinpointing the location of a buried subject is not possible with a transceiver alone. The burial depth and the orientation of the subject can be determined easily and quickly with a probe pole. Starting at the point with the lowest distance reading or loudest tone, apply a spiral search pattern. Always probe at a right angle to the snow surface.
If the buried subject is hit with the probe pole, the pole is left in the snow. It serves as a guide while excavating the buried subject. The burial depth is also a triage criterion. In situations with limited resources deep burials are located later.

Excavating the Buried Subject

Size the area to be dug out generously. Pay attention to the presence of an air pocket and avoid trampling on top of the buried subject. Access the buried subject laterally. Digging must be practiced as well. It takes by far the most time.
Cut out blocks of snow with the shovel. The lead shoveler of the group should be relieved from time to time. Rotating clockwise at given intervals is easiest.

  1. Signal search
  2. Coarse search
  3. Fine search
  4. First Aid
  5. Raising the alarm