Originally Posted by tball
Does anyone know if ski patrollers always wear beacons?
I'm really considering purchasing one for use inbounds, but it would defeat the purpose if the patrollers doing the directed skiing didn't have beacons to find me if I was buried. I'm guessing they do so they can at least find each other, but since the skiing public typically doesn't have a beacon maybe they don't?
I'm asking about the avalanche prone ski areas in general, but if anyone knows specifically about Copper Mountain and A-basin I'd love to hear.
I really doubt every patroller always wears a beacon. However, I would also be surprised to find that it was not practice to have some with beacons, and/or a setup where they have beacons in packs on the snowmobiles, in the shacks on the top of the mountain etc.
My probe lives inside my ski pack, but I don't normally carry a shovel inbounds. I don't own a beacon yet, angling for one for Christmas (haven't skied in the BC since I moved off the front range, and after having some inbounds scares, have vowed not to until I do it right).
An avy course is very helpful, even for inbounds skiing. A lot of us that know our resorts well know exactly where to go to find the deepest pockets of snow and to hit them before anybody else. Put another way, we have become very good at finding the most wind-loaded and unstable parts of the mountain and try to get tracks on them before anybody else.
The chance may still be very low that we get caught and killed in an inbounds avalanche, but for a lot of us aggressively hitting the deepest parts of the mountain, if somebody gets caught in an avalanche that day, odds aren't bad that it could be one of us.