Heli-Based Avalanche Rescue

Snowbird, UT—A new helicopter-mounted avalanche transceiver technology will be unveiled for the first time in the United States Thursday, Dec. 7, in Utah’s Little Cottonwood Canyon. Members of Wasatch Backcountry Rescue, Air Med, Life Flight and the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office will perform a helicopter transceiver search using long-range receivers near Snowbird.

The event features Wasatch Backcountry Rescue demonstrating avalanche rescue incorporating the efficiency of a helicopter with the state-of-the-art receivers. Long-range receivers provide a wider search range that permits searching vast areas more quickly than a touring party without putting rescuers into danger.

“Avalanche rescue has traditionally been up to those in the touring party, said Dean Cardinale, Snowbird Assistant Director of Snow Safety and Wasatch Backcountry Rescue President. “This technology will dramatically change rescue time, effort and success with the help and speed of a helicopter-mounted transceiver.

The demonstration begins at 10 a.m. at the Wasatch Powderbird Guides heli-port with a meeting and ground presentation, followed by an 11 a.m. helicopter air search. Rescue Training Center targets will be buried across the street on Mt. Superior and helicopters will locate them using the long-range receiver.

Members of the media are invited to attend the demonstration and air search. Representatives of Wasatch Backcountry Rescue, Air Med, Life Flight and the rescue equipment manufacturer will be on hand for the demonstration and interviews. Take Little Cottonwood Canyon to Snowbird Entry 4 and follow the Bypass Road to Wasatch Powderbird Guides.

Celebrating 30 years of service, Wasatch Backcountry Rescue is a volunteer organization made up of snow safety professionals and their avalanche rescue dogs from nine Utah resorts, UDOT, the Utah Olympic Park and Wasatch Powderbird Guides working with Salt Lake, Utah and Summit county sheriff’s offices. Wasatch Backcountry Rescue member resorts are Snowbird, Alta, Brighton, Solitude, Park City, The Canyons, Deer Valley, Snowbasin and Sundance. For more information on Wasatch Backcountry Rescue visit www.wasatchbackcountryrescue.org.