The shovelling phase often takes the most time and definitely takes the most energy, so teamwork is key. The most efficient approach is to line up downslope of the probe, one metre apart.
The shoveller at the front of the line digs down, moving blocks of snow behind to the next person in line. Each shoveller in the lineup uses a paddling motion to keep that snow moving to the next person in line. This paddling motion is key to saving energy. Keep the shovel low; lifting the snow increases the effort but won't move the snow any faster.
The person closest to the probe is digging and doing the most work. Switching positions often and regularly increases efficiency.
As you get closer to the victim, focus on clearing snow from their face and chest.
The video and images on this page demonstrate the strike-team method of shovelling, the most efficient way to extricate an avalanche victim.
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