Monday, October 28, 2013

Early Season Gear Check

Snow has begun to fall to accumulate in North America's mountains. It is time to begin checking your kit to make sure you are ready to ride.

In this post we will review the necessary steps to check you beacon and airbag to ensure proper performance from your safety equipment.


1. Check Your Airbag
The illustrations found below are specific to Mammut's "Removable Airbag System R.A.S.". Details on how to check the  "Snowpulse Lifebag" or Mammut's "Protection Airbag System P.A.S." can be found in the relevant user manual:
A detailed description of each of these steps can also be found in the "Airbag Know-How" section of the website, under "User Manuals.“

1.1. Check the airbag:
Unfold the airbag and carry out a visual inspection to check for any signs of damage to the airbag balloon. Then fold the airbag and pack it up again as described on page 30 of the User Manual. If the airbag balloon is ever wet or damp after use, allow it to dry completely before packing it back into the backpack.
1.2. Check that the avalanche airbag system is securely attached:
a) Are the buckles of the airbag system attached to the loops on the backpack?
b) Is the cable of the deployment handle running in the shoulder strap as shown in the illustration?
c) Is the airbag system zipper connected to the backpack zipper and is the velcro fastening closed?
d) Is the safety strap closed correctly?
e) Is the deployment handle attached and stowed correctly in the shoulder strap?

1.3. Check the deployment mechanism and Venturi box:
a) Is the deployment mechanism ready?
b) Is the Venturi box connector free from damage and completely screwed in?
c) The cable of the deployment handle must not be wound around the deployment mechanism or connecting tube. This could cause the mechanism to rotate.

1.4. Check the filling pressure and make sure the airbag cartridge is securely attached:
a) The filling pressure can be determined either using the pressure detection system or by weighing the cartridge. In the case of cartridges with pressure detection systems, at room temperature (around 20°C/68°F) the display must be in the green area. In the case of cartridges without pressure detection systems, the weight must be checked. Weigh the cartridge and compare the weight printed on it with the actual weight. A tolerance of 5 g (+/-) is acceptable. CAUTION: weigh the cartridge without the protective cap.
b) The cartridge must be completely screwed into the deployment mechanism.
If you are unsure about any of the steps, please contact your specialist dealer.
If you identify any faults, please contact Mammut Customer Service.
Practice in deploying the airbag is essential, to ensure that you can carry out these actions quickly and intuitively in an emergency situation. Carry out regular dry runs to make sure you know which hand to use to deploy the airbag most effectively and how much strength to apply.
A training deployment of the "Removable Airbag System R.A.S.", "Protection Airbag System" and "Snowpulse Lifebag" can be carried out quickly and easily. You don't even need a filled cartridge.
Training deployment:
1. Unscrew the filled cartridge from the deployment mechanism
2. Pull the deployment handle
3. You will hear quite a loud clicking sound
4. This sound indicates successful deployment
5. Then rearm the deployment mechanism using the "rearming tool"
We recommend at least one training deployment each season.
If you are caught up in an avalanche with your avalanche airbag, we recommend that you have the airbag system serviced. Contact Mammut Customer Service for this.
All other important information, for example, on transporting avalanche airbags by air and details of Mammut cartridge rental stations, can be found at:
2. Check your Barryvox
Check your Barryvox at home before you set out on your first winter tour. Switch the device on and note the display for the self-test and battery test. Weak batteries should be replaced immediately. We also recommend carrying out a regular visual inspection to check for any signs of mechanical damage to the housing, contamination or damage to the battery contacts, as well as making sure that the main switch is working correctly. If any inconsistencies are identified during these regular device checks, you must send the device to a Mammut Barryvox Service Center for further checks.
All other usage information can be found at: avalanchesafety_barryvox.html
photo:Stefan Schlumpf
We would now like to wish you a great start to the season and lots of unforgettable powder days!

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