You’re not a gambler. You don’t lay down mortgage-sized bets in Vegas, drop bundles of benjamins on a horse named Snow, or bet burritos on a buddy’s daily trivia—or, maybe you do. But in the backcountry, you’re careful. You make the right decisions. You’re diligent in assessing the snowpack at all aspects and elevations. You prioritize your long term lust for life over today’s stoke factor. You go prepared. That said, backcountry travel—ascent and descent—holds inherent risks. The Avalanche is the shark in the lineup, the rattlesnake coiled trailside, the mad moose in the bush. Probably, you’ll never see it. But your senses are cued, and you can feel the potential. In the event of an intimate encounter with an Avalanche, there’s no room for error, or extra complication. There are the skills you own, and the tools you’ve brought.
Midwinter, post-storm: crushing Mineral Basin for days on end, and the snow is endless, too good to make the trip back to town. Even for more long cut. Deep in the backcountry, a second, third, even sixth canister could become an imperative. The Airbag components (WARY kit) are intuitive to reassemble whether you’re operating out of a tent, off the back of a sled, or in the Patrol locker room. The large T-handle allows quick deployment even with gloves, and stows securely inside the shoulder-mounted housing.
We’ve approached the problem of ruck-based avalanche safety and survival equipment entirely from a professional, core-user standpoint. That means we’ve optimized the fundamentals: simplicity of use, avy-tool access and organization, and, most importantly, head-up orientation in the event of airbag deployment. The Blackjack is not just a vehicle for an airbag, but a tool of unparalleled comfort and functionality, whether you’re dropping bombs before sunrise, cutting cornices on a windy day, running sweep at four, or hauling dislocated-shoulder-guy off the Apron before après — and accolades — at the bar.