Avalanche beacon

Posted by: CrackBoy

Avalanche beacon - 03/08/05 09:52 PM

FYI in case anyone is in the market for a beacon, the seatle co-op has the mammut barryvox on sale now
Posted by: zachres

Re: Avalanche beacon - 03/09/05 07:41 PM

The Barryvox beacon is pretty slick... right up there in ease of use with the BCA Tracker

Wait till you see what Ortovox is launching next year, though. Their new beacon will give you a graphic display of the location of any "victims" in relation to your position. It also calculates depth of burial. If it does everything that they claim, it will revolutionize the beacon market.

Posted by: Chas

Re: Avalanche beacon - 03/09/05 08:15 PM

But what is the range?

I'd rather give up in the "DUMMY" feature to keep the range. Current analogs give ranges upto 80meters whereas the digital give ranges upto 50-60meters. Assuming that your partner has trained well with it (the time from acquiring a signal to wanding the victim less then 1 minute), I'd much rather have the greater range. And why in the h$ll would I trust travelling with a partner who isn't well trained.

Personally, I'd like to have a beacon that is analog from 80m to 50m, digital from 50m to 3m, and then analog for the fine grid search.
Posted by: pedestrian

Re: Avalanche beacon - 03/09/05 08:54 PM

Isn't half the point of a digital beacon to avoid having to figure out your false maximums in pinpoint search? I'm not sure what the advantage of analog would be for pinpoint search. By the time you get to pinpoint range - hopefully you're not going to get fucked over by multiple signals...

I bought a Tracker, though, so go figure. Purportedly, the problem with analog/digital hybrids is that they don't do either mode as well as a 1-mode model.
Posted by: zachres

Re: Avalanche beacon - 03/09/05 09:08 PM

Ortovox has traditionally designed beacons with the type of range and adjustable signaling that you are talking about.

That being said, the difference between 60 meters and 40 meters in a real avalnche scenario is typically a non-issue. A rescuer's inability to isolate a 30x30 meter area in which the victim is most likely to be is almost always a result of panic or misuse of the equipment. And, while analog beacons do have a greater maximum range, they loose range at a more dramatic rate due to burial than do digital beacons.

The number one thing to be worried about in a real avalanche scenario is your partner's ability to manage a crisis. Just about anyone can pick up a BCA Tracker and figure out how to use it affectively within 20 minutes, but what happens when the shit hits the fan? Within the past 3 weeks, I've heard horror stories of "experienced, trained, practieced" beacon users panicking and being unable to cope with a real rescue situation. One of these incidents resulted in a a fatality... 2 rescuers were getting confused signals, because one of them had their beacon set to "transmit." This guy new how to operate his beacon, but he was incapable of operating himself in a crisis.

Posted by: Chas

Re: Avalanche beacon - 03/10/05 05:31 PM

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.