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Climbing Movies Reviewed
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Hazards of Avalanche & Crevasse
(Doco) UK guides step us through beginers practices

Format Video Category Instructional
Title Hazards of Avalanche & Crevasse  Mins 26 
Starring   RRP  
Director   Reviews
Edition British Mountaineers Council (1988)  Ave Rating *** (3.00 of 5)


User Comments

The target audience of the video seems to be mainly aimed towards ski tourers, however, the material it covers also applies, perhaps more so, to beginner mountaineers. It covers how to evaluate the danger of avalanche, and what precautions to take in case one occurs, including the use of transceivers. It also shows the best ways of roping up to cross a glacier, and how to carry out a crevasse rescue given that the victim is able to assist in the rescue.

That later point is worth elaborating upon. The film does not cover crevasse rescue where-in the victim has fallen unconscious other than briefly stating some of the potential problems such as the need to abseil in to assess the victimís health, and the obstacle presented by the crevasse lip when hauling the victim out. Further the scenario it does cover in detail (similar to the assisted hoist known to rock climbers) assumes you have at least two, possibly three rescuers, and merely states that rescue is that much more difficult when operating alone to save your partner.

I guess what Iím saying is that the film should be taken as a starting point. Thereís nothing in it that you wonít find in a good text such as Mountaineering, freedom of the hills, which would be a far better buy. However there are some good points. It does provide a visual illustration of techniques that you may only have read in a book, and stresses the need to practice said techniques in real life. Interviews with qualified guides help underline key issues, and enactmentís of practices are backed up with still shots of diagrams which are fairly simple to follow. Foreboding mountain landscapes are interwoven throughout to complement the message being addressed.

About half the short film covers avalanche dangers and the other half those of crevasses without going into great detail on either. In summary, this movie is certainly worth watching, especially if youíre unfamiliar with the concepts. As a beginner youíll probably get more value out of a good book like the aforementioned title, but something like this would be invaluable if you were, for example, a guide wanting to provide an intro to your clients, or a member of a party doing an extended back-county ski touring trip onto high peaks. Any serious mountaineers would already know all about avalanche & crevasses rescue, but something like this would be handy for new comers to the activity. For me, the main thing it provided was a reinforcement of the idea of practising techniques Iíve only read about. 


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