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Avalanche Probes

Avalanche Probes

Besides avalanche transceiver and shovel, probe is one of the three essential pieces of avalanche safety equipment when venturing into the backcountry. These are used to pinpoint the exact location of avalanche victims and measure the burial depth after they have been located with an avalanche transceiver.

For most situations we recommend a probe of 240 - 280 cm. These are long enough for most rescue situations. If you're skiing in areas of high snowfall prone to larger avalanches then it may be worth taking a  320 cm probe.

How to choose an avalanche probe?

Probe are made of aluminium or carbon fibre; carbon fibre probes are lighter in weight but also more expensive. Slightly heavier aluminum probes tend to penetrate tough and dense snow more effectively, these are the most common probes for recreational backcountry skiers

Since time is precious during an avalanche rescue scenario, the probe you choose should be easy and fast to deploy. Most modern probes can be deployed in seconds by “whipping” them out and pulling on the string or cable that holds the sections together. The probe must be stable and stiff, The thicker diameter, the more precise probe is, however it should be compact and easily stowable in a backpack. It also provides clear and visually easy to read the depth measurement system. All the poles we sell deploy quickly, but it's important to practice to avoid wasting time in a real emergency. 

Most probes use 40 cm sections so a 240 cm probe, for example, will have 6 of these. Some probes are made in shorter lengths, for example the ARVA Compact models, use 30 cm sections.
These can be convenient if space is really a problem in your pack, but in general we recommend using probes with 40 cm segments.

Probing to find a body is NOT easy. It can be difficult to know whether you've found a person, a rock, or some hard snow or ice. Regular practice and above all taking the time to go on a training course are strongly recommended.

 

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