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If mountain rescue teams in the UK were searching for a walker or climbing caught in an avalanche, would they start with a transceiver search? given that transceivers are infrequently carried by walkers and climbers in the UK.

Maybe the answer is different for Scottish rescue teams, than English & Welsh, as the Scottish rescue teams will deal with avalanches much more frequently.

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2 Answers 2

They do in the Cairngorms. I have met skiers in Corrour bothy using them.

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This doesn’t really answer the question, but it’s good to know that waiting for the mountain rescue team to dig you out of an avalanche is wrong, because there’s preciously little time left. About 90 % of the people survive the first 15 minutes under the snow, but after half an hour the number sharply drops to 30–40 %. Here’s one graph (source):

Avalanche survival probablity

This means that you have a decent chance of being digged out by your friends, if you all have working transcievers, probes and shovels and know how to use them routinely. The mountain rescue will take too much time to arrive, even in the best conditions.

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