Three of my friends were hiking in the backcountry when an avalanche ripped down the mountain burying everyone in the group. Luckily all three were wearing Black Diamond Outlaw AvaLung Backpack’s…
According to the report on the Colorado Avalanche Information Center the first snowboarder was buried for one hour in 2-3 feet of light snow, he used his AvaLung for about five breaths and was able to eventually dig himself out. The second buried person in the group was a skier who was buried for one hour and twenty minutes, he used his AvaLung for a few minutes before being able to create an air pocket. The last snowboarder spent two hours and fifteen minutes under a wall of snow 6-7 feet under the surface. He used his AvaLung for 15 minutes of assisted breathing..
I heard the story, was shocked, sad, upset wasted no time and ran literally to the mountaineering shop and purchased my Black Diamond AvaLung Outlaw Backpack.
My Black Diamond Outlaw Backpack has solid construction. The pack has been to Alaska and back, traveled across the United States and is still as strong as ever. The straps have not worn, all the buckles still lock and unlock with ease. The Black Diamond AvaLung Outlaw Backpack features a unique rear entry to access the backpacks main storage compartment. This helps tremendously when hiking with a snowboard attached to the pack, you can set the pack down and still access all the contents!
This will take a bit of getting used to, the backpack sits higher up on my back then most packs. Once you dial in the right size-fit the pack just becomes apart of you. When I snowboard my Black Diamond AvaLung Outlaw Backpack has the following inside: shovel, probe, extra gloves, food, water, and an ice axe and ski poles attached to the outside of the pack. But once the pack is on my pack, I don’t even notice its there..
I have used my AvaLung as a normal backpack while traveling. The Black Diamond logos are not over the top, the design is slick. But who cares what it looks like if it can save your life.
I WILL NOT travel in the backcountry without my Black Diamond AvaLung Outlaw Backpack!! The Black Diamond AvaLung system works by helping avalanche victims that are buried under snow, the pack delivers fresh oxygen rich air giving the skiers or riders much valuable time to survive while hopefully their ski partners have begun to dig them out, hopefully.
Keep in mind the Black Diamond AvaLung Outlaw Backpack should not take the place of snow science or avalanche awareness. The AvaLung will not make you are invisible, however there have been numerous avalanche burials that have been assisted with the use of the AvaLung system.
I would highly recommend the Black Diamond Outlaw backpack for anyone that spends time in the backcountry. While heli-skiing in Haines Alaska our entire group has all wearing AvaLung, we wouldn’t have it any other way.. Encourage your ski partners to do the same.