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Radio's and Skiing - Page 2

post #31 of 45
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
why not use cell phones? wait that would be to easy.
Cell phones suck in the mountains as a safety device. Coverage is way too spotty!
post #32 of 45
Radios are great. I only use them to find out when every one is meeting for lunch or to hook up for a run and at the beginning of the day to find the best powder as we spread out looking for untracked. and incase of an emergancy they are invaluble!! I twisted my knee once real bad in a tree well in 5ft of powder skiing the trees and couldnt move to get one ski. i radioed my buddy and he found me and helped me get down the mountain to the first aid shack. Ever since theres a radio in my pack even when by myself because there is an emergancy chanell on most radios. A becon is always a must and even thinking about getting a probe. This all depends on how and were you ski I guess also. If you like powder and ski the trees all of the above.
post #33 of 45
Originally Posted by DropCliffsNotBombs View Post
Cell phones suck in the mountains as a safety device. Coverage is way too spotty!
verizon has snowbird 100 percent covered I guess I am in a minority. plus if you cant get a signal where you are at there is allways the choice to move to a ridge line.

I would rather move and understand someone than not move and listen to radio BS.

plus saftey device your wont be able to call patrol anyways on your 2 way radios they arent on a public channel.
post #34 of 45
Cell phones are basically two way radios : The FCC has been rumoring that it is going to take away some frequencies from the HAM radio service and make those freqeuencies available for cell phones. Whether or not that will happen I don't know.

I think cell phones are really hard to use on the mountain becuase the buttons are so small. Another strike against them is they are not nearly as robust as the radios I use. As far as reception goes, it depends entirely on your location. I get lousy reception in the middle of Dallas sometimes.

I have never skied in really cold weather, but my radios have worked all the way down to 5* F with no problem. Just keep them in a pocket and they should stay warm enough.
post #35 of 45
Have to say I'm a confirmed 2-way user.
In any size of a group there are always times when you lose touch and a radio can be a quick way of checking that something hasn't gone wrong. Many also come with "hands-free" type attachments that you can stick in your ear and keep the distraction down for others.
One of our group got wiped out by another skier a couple of years back and was able to call us for help. While he could have used the cell (if there had been coverage, which there wasn't) it would have been two international calls, one for him and one for us and the price would have been racking up as we kept him talking as we rode up the lift to where he was.
They are also really useful in low vis or when skiing the trees if you get separated from your group.
Oh yes - and a wee tip for keeping channels clear... we ski in both the US and Europe. The public channels are different on each side of the ocean... so take US radios to europe and european radios to the States... and plead ignorance if you're caught. There's never any cross chat :-)
PS You heard none of this from me
post #36 of 45
How many channels do I have to hear "mom... mom... mom"! I used to carry one, but not any more. Cause that's all ya hear.
post #37 of 45
Silverton- 0% coverage.
Crested Butte- 0% coverage.
Telluride-60% coverage. (backcountry- 10%)
Purgatory- 15% coverage.

Cell phones suck as safety devices for me here in the four corners.
post #38 of 45
We have some radios. They live in the garage and never get used.

Too much cross talk. Too much variability on how well they'll work at a given mountain. I think they suck.

Usually we just have a few staggered meet-up plans if we're skiing with a big group.
post #39 of 45
Originally Posted by Salomon View Post
How many channels do I have to hear "mom... mom... mom"! I used to carry one, but not any more. Cause that's all ya hear.
Between 15 or so transmit channels on modern radios and upwards of 50 'squelch' subcodes per channel where you can only receive if you're on the same channel and subcode, it shouldn't be too hard to find a quiet combo.
post #40 of 45
I think part of the problem is alot of people have the first or second generation FRS radios. These do suck and have terrible range and audio quality.

The newer GMRS radios are better range. The Motorola T9500R I bought yesterday states a 40 KM range but.... I realize I will be lucky to get 5 km at a ski hill. 40 KM is rated over salt water.

However if I get 5 KM that is more than enough for any ski hill.

I tested the new radio against a cobra GMRS 12 KM radio we were using previously. The new Motorola radio:

Was clearer from my Motorola to his Cobra than Cobra to Cobra

my reception of him using his cobra to my new Motorola was better than
Cobra to Cobra.

Technology has come a long way in a short time with these devices.

the new radio's have in excess of 2600 channel combinations. I am pretty sure there is a quiet channel in those 2600 somewhere.

My Motorola also picks up 11 Enviroment Canada weather channels (or NOAA if US) which will also alert me if a Weather Warning occurs.

Yet to test it onhill but I expect far better performance than our previous radio's which for the most part worked rather well.
post #41 of 45
Someone mentioned that the ski patrol monitors channel 9.11. This is not true for all areas. In my neck of the woods Mt. Baker monitors it but Stevens Pass does not. Don't count on it unless you've checked it out with the local patrol.
post #42 of 45
The group we ski with in Australia all use radios, however the 'saturation' hence the talk traffic isn't as dense down here.

We've never bothered to take them OS though, although we have often thought they'd be handy to have, especially for video.

Does anyone know of the implications of using Australian radios in the US? Will they work? Is it legal? If not, would it be worth the risk bringing them?
post #43 of 45
Originally Posted by icanseeformiles(andmiles) View Post
one piece of advice - a radio has no place with a child in ski school. Would you expect your child to call you during a regular school class with a cell phone?
I know this thread is quite old, but I am searching for some good two-way radios this year. And, as a matter of fact, the whole reason that I'm getting them is for my kids in ski school. Normally I'd agree with you, but my daughter had a bad experience last year. She had to use the bathroom (yes, she went before the lessons) and they wouldn't let her and made her go in her pants. Imagine 5 hours of lessons with wet pants, nevermind the humiliation! This year, she wouldn't even go unless I promised that I'd get her a walkie talkie so that I could get her in an emergency.

Are the top two contenders still Motorola and Midland? I'd like something rechargeable (Li Ion if possible) with lots of sub channels.

post #44 of 45
If people are only using radios to find each other in the lodge, they should buy beacons. Flip it over to transmit and let your buddies go on a hunt through a sea of people for you. It could be good practice just don't try and probe through people.
post #45 of 45
I find 2-way radios useful. I'm a ham radio operator (KB1JCY) and I carry a walkie-talkie that can connect to a repeater system. When I ski with other ham radio operators, we coordinate on a repeater system. Repeater systems get around the spotty coverage issues with FRS 2-way radios by providing a tower at a higher elevation than the mountain we are skiing on. As long as we have line-of-sight to the repeater, we can communicate. Also there aren't many hams on the hill, reducing the noise and chatter.

I use a headset and set the radio to VOX mode so things are pretty much hands-free for me.
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