Daron Rahlves on AK Float airbag deployment: “It saved my life”
Posted on December 6th, 2012 by edge | 0 Comments
Just in case you missed TGR’s “Dream Factory” tour this fall, we’re going to show you the best scene of all in this incredible film: World Cup downhiller Daron Rahlves going ballistic on a huge Alaskan face, then deploying his Float 18 airbag when the face slides and he’s headed for a bergshrund:
After a legendary career with over two dozen World Cup podiums, Daron is now focused on freeskiing, filming with Teton Gravity Research (TGR) and Warren Miller, running his Bonzai skiercross tour, and raising two boys in Lake Tahoe, Calif.. He picked up one of our Float avalanche airbags when they first came out three years ago and has been one of our biggest allies ever since. He’s got a pretty good reason for that:
“It definitely saved my life,” he told BCA a few months ago after his return from Alaska’s Northern Chugach range, where the TGR segment was filmed.
When the face slid, Daron tried to outrun the debris by pointing himself over what appears to be a 75+ foot cliff. He didn’t quite stomp the landing. When he knew the bergschrund (crevasse) was coming up, he pulled his Float airbag trigger. Rahlves said he’s convinced it kept him on the surface and prevented him not only from getting buried, but from getting stuffed into the crevasse.
Rahlves and TGR have been skiing these types of lines for years, with and without our BCA Float airbags, so we’re comfortable that their airbags aren’t affecting their decision making. We’re very familiar with TGR’s safety program and it is very extensive. We have even taken part in their annual International Pro Riders Workshop, in which all their athletes and production workers are trained and re-trained on avalanche safety.
TGR’s “Dream Factory” is a must-see if you’re a fan of modern skiing culture. It traces the roots of adventure skiing in Alaska, with a captivating history of the industry-altering heli-ski scene in Valdez, Haines, and now the Northern Chugach.