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Inbounds transceiver, mainly to transmit?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Powder skiers and patrol, check this logic. Inbounds powder skiers are most likely to be burried in a large sluff or their own bomb hole, not a huge avalanche. Is a basic one antennae beacon a suitable precaution for this scenario. Mostly just transmitting, helping patrol if they arrive on scene. Or if a small group loses someone in a sluff, you can criss cross the area in a few minutes and it will light up when you ski over him, right? Is this logical, or way selfish and stupid? Patrol, what do you want to see? everyone transmitting on a big day make your life better and everyone as safe as reasonably possible? 
post #2 of 18
Is the point to save money?  People using a single-antenna beacon to searchwould most probably encounter significant difficulty looking for other people in their party.  And if you can't search effectively for a partner...  Because of the oval shape - flux line - of radio waves, the finder doesn't "light up" when you ski over a person - single antennae searches are a difficult proposition which are best practiced religiously.  
http://www.fsavalanche.org/Default.aspx?ContentId=24&LinkId=29&ParentLinkId=3

That's an interstng phrase you used = "helping patrol if they arrive on scene."  You still need a shovel and should have a probe to locate and dig the person out.  

I don't think you save very much money with a single-antennae beacon, given the increased difficulty of searching.  Since you ask, if I were responding to an avalanche, a single antenna beacon on a victim would be a lot better than nothing but it would be better if the others on-scene had fully functioning modern beacons.  
post #3 of 18
 What he said....  I used several single antennae beacons when I was getting started and they worked fine because I practiced with them.  Now I use dual units and they work fine because I practice with them.  I don't see any advantage to using older technology other than "price?"  Also a beacon with out a shovel and probe isn't that helpful for a live recovery.  The best chance that an avalanche victim has is to be rescued by the people they are with.  Waiting for patrol or S&R becomes an almost certain body recovery.  All of the newer beacons work well once you are familiar with them.  I like the Tracker because it is simple.  I also use a Barryvox.  Get a "real" beacon.  Better yet get two and give your partner one and practice for beers.
post #4 of 18
I'm not sure that I agree.

For companion rescue, clearly, a beacon without a shovel and probe is useless.  But even all three are effectively useless without training and practice.  The gear isn't enough.

In-bounds is a different story.  If you're skiing solo, it doesn't matter whether you have a shovel and probe.  If you're skiing with others, having them able to summon trained help -- i.e., Patrol -- may be at least as important as having them dig.  To the extent that they can help locate you before others arrive, so much the better, but basically, you're using a beacon for RECCO-type transmittal. 

I know that at several areas, patrollers ski with beacons every day, or at least every day with significant avy danger.  I've never heard of an area where they ski with RECCOs as a matter of course.

The shovel and probe are a good idea -- I ski with them always -- but that doesn't stop me from putting beacons on my wife and kids without any other gear or training.

As for pricing, you can get a Pieps Freeride from Backcountry.com for $105 after Bing cashback.
Edited by TheDad - 10/5/09 at 9:57am
post #5 of 18
if you are just going to be a victim, and the beacon is a locater only  (stupid, but if that is the reality of it) then buy one with the longest send range.   This will help others find you.

If you ski with someone, and you both take this aproch, you are really not that usefull for each other too.

again I dont think that this is a good idea.  The best is to know how to use the gear that you have, and you can use it if you are a victim, or a rescuer.
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Honestly, it is about price. If I had more licquidity right now, I'd buy my son and I top of the line transceivers, of course and why not. But at this moment, it's a choice between having nothing at all, and skiing in bounds with a signal going out on big days. I acknowlege that I do not have every eventuality covered in this way of thinking. I'm trying to cover the most likely dangers: bomb hole burial, big-ass sluffs. Lots of people in the vicinity. Patrol all with beacons. Cell phones all over. I think this is the 95% likelihood where and how I ski. The other 5% I'm f''d. Someone depending totally on me, they're f'd. But having a new, reliable transmit capable beacon seems to cover the most present dangers in bounds. Yes? No? I'm also asking what you thinik the (serious) odds are for different types of burial in bounds.

Bob, you're saying the problem with my thinking is that I'm useless to help out if I arrive at the debris pile where someone is needing trained skiers to assst. Your vision of the best scenario for a patrol in bounds rescue is that many skiers on scene are capable of assisting patrol and everyone burried is transmitting?
post #7 of 18
To clarify:  I don't think that anyone should refrain from training with and carrying a beacon, shovel and probe inbounds, at least under any conditions that might include avy risk.

But I also don't think that anyone should refrain from carrying a beacon inbounds just because they don't have a shovel and probe and haven't been trained.

Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
post #8 of 18
I remember reading some 1st person accounts of the in-bounds slides last year (where thankfully no one was buried).  Patrol arrived very quickly and did a beacon search.  What the nearby volunteers were used for was a probe line (with equipment a patroller brought down). 

There will be in-between cases that are more like backcountry --  more remote where someone on the scene may need to notify patrol, or where it takes longer for them to get there.  But many (most?) slides are going to be in immediate response category.

TheDad has a good point "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good."

(In my case, I only need one more beacon so the price difference times one is not that great.  I don't know how large families afford to have vacations at all, let alone sking ones.)
post #9 of 18
 In-bounds is a different story.  If you're skiing solo, it doesn't matter whether you have a shovel and probe.  If you're skiing with others, having them able to summon trained help -- i.e., Patrol -- may be at least as important as having them dig.  To the extent that they can help locate you before others arrive, so much the better, but basically, you're using a beacon for RECCO-type transmittal. 

I'm not sure what this means

Patrol will respond quickly to an inbounds situation.  You could call them yourself on a cell phone.  A few minutes is a long long time when your buried.  Good can be better than perfect, but you can't practice with a send only unit.  If that is all you can really afford it is better than nothing.  I might consider getting a send only unit for the kids and a full function unit (used?) for myself.  That way you could train a bit and if your kid is under the snow you have an option.
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie View Post

Patrol will respond quickly to an inbounds situation.  You could call them yourself on a cell phone.  A few minutes is a long long time when your buried.  Good can be better than perfect, but you can't practice with a send only unit.  If that is all you can really afford it is better than nothing.  I might consider getting a send only unit for the kids and a full function unit (used?) for myself.  That way you could train a bit and if your kid is under the snow you have an option.

I think we're talking past each other.

I ski with a Pieps DSP, shovel, and probe pretty much every day.  (In fact, I think it was actually every day last season.)  I've not been on an actual burial yet (and hope that doesn't change), but I've been on simulated rescues and plan to do Avy I this season. 

My wife and kids ski with Pieps Freerides.  That makes them significantly more findable in a slide than 90+% of the people on the hill -- and, in all likelihood, 90+% of the people on this board.  I'll take it.
post #11 of 18
 I was confused because Recco doesn't transmit.
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
this train of thought came from a high risk day on the mountain. The patrol were on top first run of the day. They were standing where all the skiers had to ski right by them. They had their transceiver out,  and they were holding it arm outstretched toward people going by. The message was clear. Are you one of the one's that I can find if something slides this morning?  I take the hint. (And for what they were thinking, any decent transceiver is going to work)
post #13 of 18
davluri,  slight bend to your topic.  I know last season's fatalities at Squaw and others around Tahoe shook you and many of us.  Money being a consideration, you may want to consider enrolling in one of the AVY 1 or other Winter Wilderness courses at South Lake Tahoe Community College.  Extremely low price as it is per unit charge. The private courses available are great, but affording them can be hard for some.  Take a look, they are posted on line now & may add more of them again as they fill up like they did last year.
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by mntlion View Post

if you are just going to be a victim, and the beacon is a locater only  (stupid, but if that is the reality of it) then buy one with the longest send range.   This will help others find you.

All beacons have the same send range.  (Any differences among models are trivial in this regard.)

I suspect the main problem with using a beacon in "victim-only" mode is that the wearer might stumble upon a rescue scene and neglect to turn the beacon to Off or Search/Receive, thereby complicating the search for a real victim with multiple (and possibly even mobile) signals.  In many searches, would-be rescuers who thought there were searching were actually still in transmit mode.  

Here's an interesting account:

"I’ve been on the board of Friends of Tuckerman (www.friendsoftuckerman.org), but I am far from an avalanche expert. I do practice with my beacon, probably not enough, but am confident in my skills. I vary the scenarios as to how many buried beacons and number of searchers. I mess with people that I have practiced with by switching mine back to transmit. The problem for me was that even with trying to mix it up, I never really thought about a beacon search happening with so many people in the search party coming in at different times and creating mass beacon confusion. Just when you would think you were down to one signal, more would appear; this happened many times. I have started to call it the “urban” beacon rescue."
("Avalanche in Hannes Schneider’s Hometown of St. Anton -- Schneider Brothers Survive Alps Avalanche," by Hannes Schneider, Special to The Ear, February 08, 2007 -- in case you're wondering about the incongruity between the name and the date, this is the grandson of *the* Hannes Schneider)
 
In case you want to buy a beacon and develop some proficiency in searching, here are some reviews:
http://www.wildsnow.com/1476/avalanche-beacon-review-intro/
http://beaconreviews.com/transceivers/
post #15 of 18
What's the deal with the Tracker 2?  Is it ever going to come out?  Is it worth waiting for?
It seems like it might be vaporware -- the release date keeps getting pushed back.

I bought myself a Tracker last year because it seemed the easiest of the cheap(er) ones -- or was it the cheapest of the easy ones...
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf View Post

What's the deal with the Tracker 2?  Is it ever going to come out?  Is it worth waiting for?
It seems like it might be vaporware -- the release date keeps getting pushed back.

I bought myself a Tracker last year because it seemed the easiest of the cheap(er) ones -- or was it the cheapest of the easy ones...
Those are frequently asked questions this fall!  And last fall.  And, ahh, last fall too...
Seriously though, BCA has had working prototypes since at least Jan/Feb 2007.  Unclear why the continuing delays.
When it does finally come out, the third antenna (for the final search phase) and multiple-burial indicator (just to confirm that the indicator jumps are b/c of another transmitting beacon) will definitely be a plus.  The Tracker2 does not have any sort of marking/masking/flagging feature for multiple burials, but BCA makes the case in favor of a more simple user interface and against the frequency of such multi features being necessary.  Confused by the debate?  You can read some of the articles here:
http://www.americanavalancheassociation.org/tar/TAR27_2_LoRes.pdf
... but you'll still probably be confused!  (I wrote one of the articles, and I still can't make up my mind!)
Anyway, until then, the closest competitors (i.e., easiest of the cheap[er] ones, or cheapest of the easy ones, which is excellent summary) are the Ortovox D3 (which is basically the Tracker2, but with only three directional indicators instead of five) and the ARVA Evo3 (which unfortunately it almost impossible to get in North America).  
post #17 of 18
 Part of the rescue practice is the scene management.  Ideally there would be a gate keeper who would control who has access to the scene and would do things like making sure beacons are switched to receive.  It doesn't take an army to do a beacon search.  Some of the people can be doing things like assembling probes and getting shovels ready.  Once a probe strike has been made then more people can be used to dig.  Check out the organized shoveling papers by Bruce Edgerly from BCA.  IMO the Tracker is easy to use, but can give confusing signals in some multiple burial scenarios.  I have found that it gets much less confusing with PRACTICE.
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
This idicates to me that I am unlikely to use my beacon on receive at a large slide event inbounds. Our mountain has one heck of a patrol team.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie View Post

 Part of the rescue practice is the scene management.  Ideally there would be a gate keeper who would control who has access to the scene and would do things like making sure beacons are switched to receive.  It doesn't take an army to do a beacon search.  Some of the people can be doing things like assembling probes and getting shovels ready. .....

 

Edited by davluri - 10/13/09 at 8:50am
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