I'd differ on two points.
Thinking someone can pick up a Tracker and use it EFFECTIVELY in 20minutes is a misleading. They will probably do fine for the first portion after recieving a signal, but when they get to the fine search they will probably screw up and spend too much time. Also if they don't have a signal they will screw up.
Of the people I know who do avalanche professionally, (teach, yada, yada... many of them use the Ortovox F1.
Myself, I like the digital for the mid-portion search so I have the X1.
As for a point of reference, when I had my wife take her avalanche training (the first class), I tagged along for a refresher, and they spent one of the days running search and rescue scenerio's. It was interesting that people that are inexperienced (only having learned to use the BCA Tracker the day beforein test searches), could not act effectively in a search scenerio.
Also for the point of panic, some people will panic and no matter what you do, they will be ineffective. Now, the more scenerio training that you have the less likely you will "dummy up" in a real situation. For me I figure that with Avi Training Class I training, you are BARELY capable in assessing anything or preform rescues well, Phase II decently prepared, and well prepared with Phase III training. That is why I'd like to finish up my training.
Edited by Chas (03/10/05 05:35 PM)