#2269: Avalauncher

Skiers and mountaineers are often at the mercy of avalanches.

Today’s invention provides wthem with a NASA-specification escape technology.


In the same way that space vehicles usually carry an escape rocket on the nose, people in the mountains could take poles each of which contain a small hybrid rocket motor.

In the moments that they sense an avalanche has begun, each user would plant one pole in the ground and stand on the disk at the base, holding the handgrip which houses the rocket start button.

The motor could be fired when an acoustic sensor detected the onrush of snow from above, but manual firing would probably be preferred.

This would lift the user say 10 metres into the air so that they could avoid the vast majority of the wall of snow and ice. They would land on softer material and be less likely to be submerged.

The rocket motor could then be used as both a lance with which to melt any surrounding snow and a signal when they emerged from the drifts.

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