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Do I need a beacon?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

I have been skiing snowbird his season for the first time. A few people have told me to get a beacon. Thoughts?

post #2 of 19

Please see the 'inbounds avy stuff' thread. It's all covered there to death and back again.

post #3 of 19

If you are skiing some of the steepest, most technical terrain around there and are constantly heading out on big storm days, it's not crazy to consider if you can easily afford it, but not necessarily something you *must* have.

 

And yeah - we beat this topic to death recently in the inbounds avy thread.

post #4 of 19

It's not a bad idea. Then get some education. 

post #5 of 19

http://utahavalanchecenter.org/ 

 

Go to the education tab. Plenty of classes in SLC for you. The pros will train you up, help you find the right gear and ski safer. 

post #6 of 19

A beacon is totally useless unless you ski partners also have one and know how to use it, and vice versa.  Having one,when your ski partners dont is basically a body recovery tool, incase the patrol doesnt have a dog.

post #7 of 19

If you take some basic avy awareness training and really commit to knowing why you are carrying a beacon, probe and shovel, then you're going to have the opportunity to discover a lot of terrain you'd otherwise never see.  You will know when you're ready. Meanwhile, what Skidude said is true.  Without awareness and partners, a beacon is basically a body recovery tool   Probably time to order a copy of Bruce Tremper's  Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain.  It's a great start!

post #8 of 19

As others have said, without experienced partners, skip the beacon and buy at least an avalung or better yet, a airbag back pack so you can hopefully not get buried in the first place. Just what I am thinking of doing for solo trips. And bacon, lots of bacon in your pocketswink.gif

post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post

A beacon is totally useless unless you ski partners also have one and know how to use it, and vice versa.  Having one,when your ski partners dont is basically a body recovery tool, incase the patrol doesnt have a dog.

 

This is of course 100% true in the back country, but the OP was talking about for inbounds use.  If an inbounds slide does occur, patrol and other skiers with gear will switch into search mode and form a probe line - so I wouldn't say it's totally useless.  Not that I would go out and buy a beacon just for inbounds use.

post #10 of 19

A less expensive option inbounds is any clothing or equipment with a RECCO reflector.  The Utah ski areas are set up to search for them, and there is not any possibility of interfering with a search.  The beacon makes sense if he eventually wants to move into backcountry skiing. 

post #11 of 19
All you need is the gear. The knowledge is irrelevant.rolleyes.gif
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 

well i am the best skier on the mountain 

post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post

A less expensive option inbounds is any clothing or equipment with a RECCO reflector.  The Utah ski areas are set up to search for them, and there is not any possibility of interfering with a search.  The beacon makes sense if he eventually wants to move into backcountry skiing. 

If you do have Recco reflectors--and some people have them and don't know it--stay away from an avalanche site if patrol is on the scene or you will interfere with the search. 

post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post

A less expensive option inbounds is any clothing or equipment with a RECCO reflector.  The Utah ski areas are set up to search for them, and there is not any possibility of interfering with a search.  The beacon makes sense if he eventually wants to move into backcountry skiing. 

RECCO is really only useful for body recovery. It's extremly unlikely that patrol would be able to get the equipment there in time to save any one

post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by lonewolf210 View Post

RECCO is really only useful for body recovery. It's extremly unlikely that patrol would be able to get the equipment there in time to save any one

 

On what basis do you make this assertion?

post #16 of 19

The fact that it's extremely unlikely that a RECCO detector will be within a useful distance of rescue. For example as of last year there were only around 24 detectors in summit county. That's resorts and mountain rescue teams. Survival after 20 mins is pretty low and unless there happens to be a patroler at the top of the run the response time is gunna be relatively long. 


Edited by lonewolf210 - 1/1/13 at 11:15pm
post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift View Post

 

On what basis do you make this assertion?

 

Can you find a documented case of a RECCO rescue?  (not body recovery)

 

I think that's his point.

post #18 of 19
There have been a few but I think all of them have been over 30 mins and most over 45 mins. I am not 100% positive but I also believe that all live recoveries have occured in Europe
post #19 of 19

If you're skiing off-piste at Snowbird every day of the season, you should get a beacon.  If you get caught, the first thing ski patrol (or other skiers) will do is a beacon search.

 

Turn it on when you put it on in the morning and turn it off when you take it off at the end of the day.  Make sure you're beeping while driving up or down the road in Little Cottonwood Canyon.

 

Better still would be if you learn how to use the beacon to do a search.  You might help save someone's life.

 

Best of all would be to get the full complement of pack, shovel, probe, and the training to go with it. If you're really into powder skiing and if you stay in Utah, you'll end up getting all of that eventually, so why not do it now? 

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