An interesting Swiss business acquisition that took place earlier this summer might not be hot-off-the-press news, but it’s worthy of a mention. Snowpulse, located in Martigny close to the freeriding mecca of Verbier, was purchased by mountaineering product giant Mammut Sports Group for an undisclosed amount on July 1st.
Snowpulse’s avalanche airbag system is already popular around the world. Its cannisters are filled with compressed dry air and can be refilled. The ABS technology (and in fact Mammut’s own Removable Airbag System packs) utilise nitrogen filled cannisters and cannot be refilled, and therefore need to be replaced once deployed. From what I gather the benefits are debatable: considering that most skiiers must board planes in order to get their back-country fixes and airlines have varying policies on carrying nitrogen-filled cannisters, it is certainly less expensive to fill a Snowpulse cannister once landed than to purchase a new ABS nitrogen cannister, but is it any more convenient having to source a location that will do the job at your destination?
Either way, air bag technology offers what’s widely regarded as the safest solutions to avalanche survival and that pro cannot be under-valued. Now that Snowpulse is 100% owned by the long-established Mammut, this Swiss product has the capacity to fully reach its potential. Exciting.