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avalanche safety question

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
hi
Please help. I am confused about avalanche safety equipment. I am spending half a season in canada with a friend, we tend to spend most of our time off piste.
I was wanting some information about what systems are used to recover people that have been buried. Having skied in europe a lot, I thought that recco was widley used, but now I am not so sure. I think I should get an avalance beacon, but am unsure if this is overkill as they seem to cost a lot ($300). Are there certain formats (ie pal and NTSC) or can any beacon find any one else? (I assume beacons transmit and recieve)
Is there something cheaper than a beacon that can only transmit? Bit selfish I know but I am a student.
thanks

phil
post #2 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by phil_saville
with a friend, we tend to spend most of our time off piste.
If you are off piste you need to save Your friend so its best to have something that receives as will as transmitts. Actually don't think there is such a thing other that the ones that operate on a different freq. so you can find sleds, skis or dogs. Not friends. Buy used or sell when you leave.

Where in Canada? I could lease one for the season if nearby.
post #3 of 10
Phil, are you thinking Euro off-piste or NA off-piste?
I apologize if I make the wrong assumption.
NA resorts will control off-piste terrain inbounds unlike their European counterparts. You won't need the gear here unless you're planning on touring outside resort boundaries, in which case (based on the beacon question) it would be recommended that you take an Avy course.
post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffW
Phil, are you thinking Euro off-piste or NA off-piste?
I apologize if I make the wrong assumption.
NA resorts will control off-piste terrain inbounds unlike their European counterparts. You won't need the gear here unless you're planning on touring outside resort boundaries, in which case (based on the beacon question) it would be recommended that you take an Avy course.
I disagree there are no 100% guarantees even in North America. I've skiied many years now in Fernie and have triggered many sloughs and even some shallow slabs. A few years ago some people even got buried (partially) in Cedar Bowl due to an inbounds avi. Personally I always wear a beacon weather on resort or back country ( I own one...why not wear it) Most times I usually carry a light pack with a shovel and probe

Another scenario is if you come across a inbounds slide...you could possibly assist in a rescue. I know what your saying Jeff N.A. off piste is generally low risk, but as the bumper sticker says shit happens. And then on the flipside if conditions permit and you have aa capable partner, you can venture outside the box safely

Just my 2 cents...

PS; Phil Recco is not widely used in North America yet.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
thanks guys
going to be in Banff, so will probably look at getting a used beacon. guess it will be ebay.

thanks

phil
post #6 of 10
An avalanche beacon is not optional gear-seems you are getting out enough that it should not be hard to justify.
post #7 of 10
Recco IS widely used in the U.S. but is no substitute for a beacon, merely an adjunct. Be careful what you buy from Ebay, lots of outdated beacons, avoid the Ortovox and Pieps dual frequency beacons, very out dated. Buy a probe and shovel also, a beacon is worthless without those other tools.
post #8 of 10
check www.mec.ca - click on the Outdoor Gear Swap button and look under the "Snowsports" category. There are tons of used beacons being sold. I'd echo what Jack merde said (nice nick!)/ The beacon you want are the 457 kHZ versions, There are lots of choices so you'll want to do some reading up on what you want or don't want. Also there's a bunch of used probes and shovels.

http://www.mec.ca/Apps/outdoorGearSw...rswap_main.jsp

Also try teleturnaround http://www.telemarktalk.com/phpBB/viewforum.php?f=4
post #9 of 10
Recco is a great tool for recovering a body in a burial. By the time Recco rescuers got to the buried person they will have long been dead. A beacon has been great for that this season too. Even with quick recoveries there are four complete burials recorded this season with four deaths. It seems that in each case the person did not survive the burial process. By all means get one along with a shovel and probe and learn how to use it. Also spend some money on taking a level 1 avy course. Your best protection is to not get caught in the first place. At the very least read a book on avy safety. Staying Alive in Avalanche terrain by Bruce Tremper is an excellent book.
post #10 of 10
Let me clarify a bit about the Recco system, it is NOT a viable rescue tool for most BC applications. Most recievers are too far away to be of help. Where Recco is important is near ski area that have been supplied with Recco recievers and during an inbounds avalanche or post control release. Most class-A avalanche areas within the western U.S. have been supplied with Recco recievers by the manufacturers. To buy a pair of Recco diodes and attach them to your self is not bad insurance.

I do not work for Recco.
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