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Thread: Do I need a becon
03-09-2004, 09:12 AM #1
Do I need a becon
I know its a really stupid question yes I SHOULD have a becon
but, they are expensive and out here on the East Coast avalanches do occur but they are infrequent, and most of my touring will be done during the spring when the snowpack should be more stable....................
As I said above I WANT to get a becon, but I don't have the cash right now and I'm REALLY interested in doing some BC skiing this spring. Should I hold off and wait till I have the cash for a becon or will I be ok if I can go with people who have some BC knowledge(for I have none whatsoever)For sure, you have to be lost to find a place that can't be found, elseways everyone would know where it was
03-09-2004, 09:23 AM #2
If you are going to be just doing the spring thing, I wouldnt worry too much about it. I've been up in spring/may without a beacon, and I'm sure you will not be the only one; I doubt the guys on the intertubes are wearing them. Besides, the snowpack has settled so much that it shouldnt be an issue, your biggest problem will likely be falling ice. But, now that I have one I always wear it even in spring.
As soon as you start wanting to go earlier in the season though, its best to take a class, and get the gear.
03-09-2004, 11:30 AM #3
Hey, it only takes one avalanche to die. Get a beacon. You can find the analog SOS-F1ND for $199 (I posted a link in splat's thread a while ago), and if you shop at REI and are a member, you should get a 20% rebate now. Use it along with your divident to buy a Barryvox or a Tracker, which will come down to $240 plus tax. It's worth it. Another lead: $339 avy package including a Tracker DTS, probe, and shovel at Bentgate mountaineering (http://www.bentgate.net/avtoolpac.html). Awesome deal, I wish I had got one like that.
If you only want to do a few outings this spring, you can rent one. It's like $15-$20 a day, and just a little more for two consecutive days. Ask the store if they'll put the rental fees down as a credit when you buy a beacon in a few months when you have the cash. That might actually be the best way for you now.
Get some education too. If you want to save money there, go for books and the Internet. Your library may have some books, or check used books places like alibris.com and abebooks.com. Snow Sense ($10) has a great reputation (I have it but haven't read it yet), and I learned a lot from Bruce Temper's Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain ($20).
Oh, and yes, travel with people who have some knowledge (and beacons, probes, and shovels to find and dig *you* out), and practice search at least once before.
Last edited by Dr. Crash; 03-09-2004 at 11:55 AM.
03-09-2004, 11:50 AM #4
Yes, you should buy a beacon.
Don't listen to ANYONE who tells you otherwise. Especially internet JONGS.
03-09-2004, 11:55 AM #5
I strongly advise you to get the gear and training and practice safe habits always. You will be glad.
For spring touring on 99% sure snowpack, out east, in the trees, you can probably get by without one and rent for the days you go above tree line or on less than 99% sure places. That's my opinion.
When it comes to avy stuff, even the experts die, so error on the safe side.another Handsome Boy graduate
03-09-2004, 11:57 AM #6
Climb High in Vt runs a deal that you can get a mammut beacon plus level 1 class for 300 bucks, or do the class seperately for 75. They should run one next winter, and just might be running another one this spring, I'd call and ask. The guy who runs it is Level 3 cert and teaches mountaineering and avy safety to army troops, and knows his shit.
03-09-2004, 12:44 PM #7
cool thanks for the knowledge guysFor sure, you have to be lost to find a place that can't be found, elseways everyone would know where it was
03-09-2004, 03:18 PM #8
Yes you need a becon.....even if the snopack is solid, you won't be able to join the group and ski off piste anywhere here. If you have no training and no beacon stay inbounds or at home.
03-09-2004, 03:30 PM #9Registered User
- Join Date
- Oct 2003
Your BC skiing in the east, right? Don't bother with a beacon. Spend $200 on an avy course. Aside from Tuckerman's, Slides in the daks, there isn't that much avy terrain.
Then spend the money on a beacon.
03-09-2004, 05:46 PM #10
Would go into a bar for fun if you had a 1% chance of getting shot without wearing a bullet proof vest?
Would you ski a slope that had a 1% chance of burying you without wearing a beacon?
Get the gear, get the education, and be safe.
You get the side benefit of JONGing people who don't have gear and education.Originally Posted by blurred
03-09-2004, 06:51 PM #11
Walter you mean for less than $199, right? Because for that price, Moore Mfg has an SOS-F1ND which I believe (maybe wrongly) is more recent and effective (http://www.mooremfg.com/avalanche.htm)
03-09-2004, 07:58 PM #12
yeah I totally don't wanna be that JONG who needs to have search and rescue come after me because I got in over my head or accidentally do something that would endanger the lives of others because of my stupididty. Moving right along in the thread what would be a quality beacon for someone on a budget who has ZERO BC expirience?For sure, you have to be lost to find a place that can't be found, elseways everyone would know where it was
03-09-2004, 08:08 PM #13
As someone with almost no BC experience, I would still reccomend getting a beacon. Slides are not uncommon in the 'dacks, particularly in the High Peaks region. BC skiers have been killed by avalanches there in the past.
I hope that you never truly need a beacon. Perhaps the best reason I can think of for buying one is so that you and your skiing partners can practice using them, so if you are ever in a situation where you truly need one, you will be familiar with how to use one.
A lot of use spend over $300 a year on gear. Perhaps you can get another season out of those skis or put some duct tape on your torn parka, and get yourself some safety gear instead."There is a hell of a huge difference between skiing as a sport- or even as a lifestyle- and skiing as an industry"
Hunter S. Thompson, 1970 (RIP)
03-09-2004, 08:23 PM #14
If you are not an electronics idiot and comprehend flux lines and are willing to practice with your beacon, an analog beacon is a solid way to get protection cheap. I use an Ortovox F1 Focus that I purchased used for $130. I am just as fast as a digital searcher but I can hear beacons from farther away.
The Ortovox F1 Focus and the SOS F1ND (SOS knockoff of the Ortovox, arguably a better beacon in some respects) are excellent cheap ways in. I've seen the SOS go for $150 new on ebay last year.
If you don't want to practice at all, BCA DTS Tracker digital beacon is the handsdown easiest thing out there.
Remember, make sure your buddy has a beacon and knows how to use it or you may end up wearing an expensive corpse locator.Originally Posted by blurred
03-10-2004, 09:44 AM #15Registered User
Originally posted by SummitCo 1776
- Join Date
- Oct 2003
Remember, make sure your buddy has a beacon and knows how to use it or you may end up wearing an expensive corpse locator.
has 58% of victims found alive by professionals! It's worse for rec skiers.
Don't Get Caught!
If you don't know anything about avys - take a class before you buy the gear! (Most classes will have a bunch of beacons to try out too - pick the one you like)
03-10-2004, 02:26 PM #16
I ski bc in the east-usually in the adirondacks-have done some in vt and nh (tuckerman and gulf of slides) I don't have a beacon-I'll probably get one eventually-but I have taken 2 avi courses and "mountain travel & rescue" (through nat'l ski patrol) I'd recommend spending the $$ on some courses first-they teach some avi courses at tuckerman and adirondack backcountry skiing website. I learned alot at the courses I took, plus they were alot of fun.
03-22-2004, 10:02 AM #17
Well, recent studies performed by certain Andermatt locals claim that a transceiver (or other safety equipment for that matter) is not necessarily needed for spring conditions in the backcountry. As this self-educated rocket scientist put it: "It's only wet snow avalanches, you won't get buried. You just break your neck or a leg, It's ok. No, you don't need that, I haven't used mine since January."
Last edited by Glisseur; 03-22-2004 at 11:48 AM.I like big bikes and I cannot lie. You other brothers can't deny
03-22-2004, 10:40 AM #18
Those who don't carry beacons/haven't taken courses/etc. are whats known as "statistics".
Don't listen to the newbs/tards/jongs/gimps.
Get a beacon and take a course and PRACTICE USING YOUR BEACON.
03-22-2004, 03:58 PM #19
Wet snow valanches wont bury you... tell that to the dead man buried in a slide at La Plata the other day... they called in SAR teams from 5 counties to assist with the search.
No Beacon.Originally Posted by blurred
03-22-2004, 04:14 PM #20
Too add to SC1776 - 6 sledders were caught in a slide near Revelstoke last weekend, 5 were dug out and survived. Number 6 was the only one without a beacon and died before they could find him.
Doesn't seem like the type of thing that anyone should have to be talked into spending the $300 bucks for.
Edit: or the money for an avy course.