Originally Posted by Trekchick
The more I see these reports the more I think I need a beacon before I make my trip west.
I don't think you need a beacon. If you are only going to buy it to ski Vail (inbounds) then I would say Do Not buy it.
Yesterday I skied Highland Bowl 3 times and never felt like I needed my beacon. Highland Bowl is more prone to avy then any part of Vail. We have also had more snow than Vail this year.
If buying a beacon may motivate you to study/learn backcountry skills and then use them in the backcountry, then buy the beacon. (If you needed an excuse