Category Archives: Whistler Ski Resort

Snowboarder Survives Avalanche Thanks to Inflatable Backpack

A snowboarder at Whistler ski resort in British Columbia, Canada has just released his GoPro footage of what it’s like being caught in an avalanche. The video can be seen on Digg.com here.

The clip starts just as the snow begins to break away from under the feet of the stationary rider. The camera quickly goes white as he is surrounded by snow and falling rapidly down the mountain. Moments later a loud whine can be heard as the rider surfaces but is still unable to escape the avalanche. Finally, he comes to a stop and the snow settles around him, the entire ordeal lasting a mere 30 seconds.

The mechanical whines being heard in the background are most likely the only thing that saved this rider’s life; his Halo 28 Jetforce Avalanche Airbag Pack.
The pack is about the size of an everyday school backpack and weighs just under 8 lbs. When activated the pack inflates, increasing tenfold in size, and helps the wearer stay above the crashing snow of an avalanche. Watch the pack in action here.

The pack fully inflates in 4 seconds, then automatically deflates after 3 minutes with the intent of leaving a pocket of air around the wearer. It can be repacked and deployed 4+ times on a single battery charge allowing for practice or multiple uses, let’s just hope you don’t get caught in more than one avalanche a day!

The Halo 28 isn’t really cheap, retailing at just under $1100, but when the alternative is being buried alive on a frozen mountain, it seems a worthwhile investment.