Avalanche Expert, Bruce Tremper, Says Avalanche Airbag Backpacks Save 50% Of Avy Victims

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Bruce Tremper, the director of the Utah Avalanche Center, thinks everyone should wear an avalanche airbag backpack.  When asked if he wears and avalanche airbag backpack, Bruce had this to say:

“I only us it on the dangerous days.  Then I have to think, well if it’s dangerous, why am I going there.  So, that’s a better choice, I think, is to say, hm, if I’m bringing my airbag backpack today maybe I should go there.  So that’s a better way to think about it.” – Bruce Tremper

Some Avalanche Numbers that Bruce Gives in This Video:

Only 1 out of 10 people who get caught in an avalanche perish in an avalanche.

If there were 100 people who got caught in avalanches and would have died, about 13 to 28 of those people would have survived if they had been wearing an avalanche airbag backpack.

Bruce thinks that avalanche airbag backpacks will save about 1/2 of the people caught in avalanche where there is a clean runout (ie the victim doesn’t hit any trees or rocks).


Bruce has been the Director of the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center since 1986. Bruce grew up in the mountains of western Montana where his father taught him the basics of avalanches at the age of 10. After a successful 15-year ski racing career, he did avalanche control at Bridger Bowl Ski Area in Montana, earned a Masters Degree in Geology from Montana State University, studying under the well-known avalanche scientists Dr. John Montagne and Dr. Bob Brown. He then took over as the Director of Avalanche Control at Big Sky Ski Area in Montana and worked as a backcountry avalanche forecaster for the Alaska Avalanche Center. Bruce has been featured in a number of national and international television documentaries about avalanches including those produced by National Geographic, Discovery Channel and PBS as well as appearing on a number of national network news programs. Bruce wrote the book “Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain,” published by Mountaineers Books, now in its second edition.Utah Avalanche Center


“Avalanche Airbags Save About 1/2 of Those Who Would Have Died” | Bruce Temper on Avalanche Effectiveness

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