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  1. #51
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    Feb 2010
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    I have a Pieps with the gray slider; no issues. But good to know that there may be something. I'll be on the lookout now.

  2. #52
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    Mar 2008
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    northern BC
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    Quote Originally Posted by XavierD View Post
    Were these deaths and incidents in October or September in the Southern Hemisphere?

    Why did it take several months for this to become an issue? Was this the result of a months long investigation? What triggered the sudden social media blitzkrieg?
    I have an FB from Lee Lau talking about the guy killed up around Whistler,

    name redacted by me, written by his wife

    As most of you know, my late husband, _____ died in an avalanche at Hanging Lake near Whistler in March 2017. At the time of the accident, he was using the Pieps DSP avalanche beacon - a device designed for “fast, accurate searches in the event of a slide.” But in accident, his beacon failed. Fellow backcountry skiers couldn’t locate him because of the fundamental design flaw which turned the beacon into the wrong mode during the avalanche. It took upwards of 40 people, rescue crews and dogs to locate him, but after 4+ hours buried, it was too late and he passed away. The Pieps DSP failed to perform what is was specifically designed to do - save ____ life or at least give him a fighting chance.
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  3. #53
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    Oct 2011
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    Aspen
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    996
    Quote Originally Posted by adrenalated View Post
    ...if you have avalanche rescue training or at least the awareness and presence of mind to turn that bitch off if there's an inbounds avalanche and you're not an active part of the rescue efforts.
    Also seems like a great way, daily/inbounds/in pocket, to cause unnecessary wear and tear [ie. the premise of this thread] or damage to your beacon, with an insanely slim chance of it providing you a benefit inbounds.

    Wife and I have DSP Sports, circa 2015. I'll be keeping an eye on this and hope that BD will work on a recall program.

  4. #54
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    May 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by XXX-er View Post
    I have an FB from Lee Lau talking about the guy killed up around Whistler,

    name redacted by me, written by his wife
    From same post addresses somewhat the delay:



    With the help of lawyers, I notified Black Diamond (owners of the Pieps beacon) in writing and asked for an official recall in 2017 due to the obvious design flaw. Black Diamond stated they were doing an internal investigation but never got back to me, answered my calls or recalled the beacon. It’s still out there and widely used. I was advised at the time that posting about it or going to the media would open me up for a potential suit from Black Diamond. At the time, I was a newly single mother, trying to make ends meet and navigate how the hell I was going to move forward with my life. The thought of that scared me and I felt silenced. So instead, I went from store to store that sold the beacon trying to get it off the shelves, sharing xxx's story, but most people I spoke to said that if there wasn’t an official recall, they wouldn’t be willing to lose the revenue from the beacon - it was a best seller... xxx's death and my experience wasn’t enough. It was gutting. So, each year, as the season changes to winter, I hold my breath and wait for the first of the avalanches, praying that the next one isn’t a skier wearing the Pieps beacon.

    But last winter, it happened. A pro skier, Nick McNutt, was wearing the Pieps beacon and was caught in an avalanche. Similarly to xxx, the design flaw was clear. The beacon slide into the wrong mode and the rest of the team wasn’t able to get a signal. If it wasn’t for the fact that he was being filmed, they wouldn’t have been able to locate him with probes as quickly as they did.

    Since then, he and fellow pro skiers, including Christina Lusti (who has made several recent posts in frustration), have also contacted Black Diamond about the design flaw and have been spreading the word to the backcountry community. Black Diamond claimed Nick’s accident was the first they’d heard of where the beacon switched modes. They failed to acknowledge my letter (which they legally have to keep on file) or xxx's accident. They have been dragging their heels and not responding to the call for a recall from me and from Nick and countless other members of the backcountry community. More and more people are coming forward with accounts of their beacons switching modes.

    And now, another ski seasons upon us. Only this year, with Covid and resorts limiting access, the backcountry is going to be busier than ever, causing people to push further and further out. I’m scared for this season. I’m terrified of this happening to someone else. And I’m sick of being scared silent. So please, friends, spread the word to your friends who backcountry ski. Let’s get this beacon off the shelves and recalled!!!

    Nick and Christina’s posts on the their accident:
    https://www.instagram.com/p/CGKiX6FnesY/…

    Here’s a video Black Diamond made as a weak attempt to try cover themselves:
    https://www.instagram.com/p/CGT6EzAl...d=8u4rl1ik7ux6

  5. #55
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    Jan 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by indyjones View Post
    Nick and Christina’s posts on the their accident:
    https://www.instagram.com/p/CGKiX6FnesY/…
    Link no worky.

    I wouldn't say BD is making a weak attempt at covering themselves. They have n=2 tragic events here (and dozens of anecdotal reports from randos whose beacons have apparently misbehaved in a similar manner, ie irrelevant noise). What are they supposed to do about a discontinued design from a company they acquired? Recall them all and give everyone a new beacon? While that would be the right thing to do in a perfect world, that's unfortunately not how it works from a bottomline perspective. Especially considering the fact that the sullied name here will be Pieps, not BD. In the grand scheme of things BD knows that few people will hear about this issue and even fewer will associate it with BD. So, bare minimum done, moving on.

    Climbing analogy: they don't pull all C4 cams from the market and replace them with X4s everytime someone rips one to shred in a fall and gets injured and/or killed. They let the C4s phase out of circulation by promoting the shinier more expensive X4s.

    Incidentally I used that Pieps model for 4 seasons, 2 in the harness and 2 in a pocket. In 200ish days I never once had an accidental switch to receive. That includes ramming the beacon into my sternum while chest-planting that I had a beacon-shaped bruise for a couple weeks.
    Yo mama's so fat her patronus is cake

  6. #56
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    May 2009
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    Thanks... https://www.instagram.com/p/CGKiX6Fn...=11shn08ipx7ev

    Yeah, I hear what you are saying...but...

    BD bought Pieps shiny pretty things as well as warts are both included.

    and I think the climbing analogy here is...the sling on a c4 is weakened after a year of use and can fail without any malfeasance on the user. Whatta think BD would do in this case?

    I have not axe to grind here and actually use this Pieps beacon: https://beaconreviews.com/Specs_PiepsDSP.php I don't find a similar issue with it.

  7. #57
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    Nov 2008
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    between campus and church
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    Pieps Beacons under fire

    Yup - you buy a companies assets and their liabilities.

    Seems like coming out and offering a ‘buy back’ program giving some amount as a credit towards a new beacon would be a solid PR move here.

  8. #58
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    Dec 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by indyjones View Post
    and I think the climbing analogy here is...the sling on a c4 is weakened after a year of use and can fail without any malfeasance on the user. Whatta think BD would do in this case?
    Slings are considered wear items on cams.... you're expected to inspect them regularly and send them in to be re-slung when they show signs of wear.
    They would recall cams if they determined that slings had failed due to a manufacturing defect (such as improper stitching or something along those lines) but they would not do a recall if a cam had a sling wear out and fail.
    For example, this recall for runners that made it out the door without getting bar tacked: https://warranty.bdel.com/RunnerRecall/Landing
    There's probably a good analogy to climbing hardware somewhere but this wasn't it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Norseman View Post
    All ye punterz! Leave thine stupid heavy skis in the past, or at least in the resort category, for the age of lightweight pussy sticks is upon us! Behold! Keep up with the randocommandos on their carbon blades of shortness! Break thine tibias into spiral splinters with pintech extravagance!

  9. #59
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    Nov 2010
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    860
    Trying to follow this issue since i have two dsp sports.

    Does it only affect beacons where the button is cracked or broken ?
    i.e. is a simple visual inspection that i don't have any cracks giving me reassurance or false hope ?

  10. #60
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    Jan 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by indyjones View Post
    and I think the climbing analogy here is...the sling on a c4 is weakened after a year of use and can fail without any malfeasance on the user. Whatta think BD would do in this case?
    Regardless of the analogy, they would do nothing. There are endless factors coming into play during use that can lead to problems. BD will reasonably claim that they can't be expected to account for every single one of these factors during design. They get to decide which set of factors they focus on and they pick the most influential and statistically relevant. This is why cams work beautifully 99.9% of the time but once in a while, when having to sustain an axial load while sitting against a crystal which prevents the head from rotating in the direction of the fall, a lobe will get crushed. Or a cam will be placed in such a way that a fall will drag the incredibly strong sling across a sharp edge, cutting through it like butter.
    BD can foresee that scenario but can't design around it. If they did a cam would be made of steel, weigh 15 lbs, and require the signature of a waiver when used. So they design for a range of uses and when something happens outside of that range shit hits the fan, quite literally by design.

    The Pieps story is a bit different though and I think it's fair to shit on the design philosophy. It's as if the engineers planned for an extremely unlikely scenario (the need for a beacon to revert to transmit if someone involve in a search gets lanched) and in the process managed to compromise the primary function of the beacon by allowing it to switch to receive under certain circumstances which seem more likely to occur (getting dragged through trees while in a slide). Sounds like they tried to create an additional selling point for the beacon and created a potentially lethal flaw (well, lethal in 2 cases apparently).
    If that is the case it's odious and something should be done. However, since there's no supreme authority which establishes rules for beacon functionality development, no actions will be taken other than lip service, because, $$$. Bad PR blows away, beacons are probably not making or breaking BD's bottom line, they can hide behind the Pieps name, etc... If they were smart they would do a voluntary recall and offer a pro-deal level discount on a upgraded model. They'd still probably come out on top financially and look like the good guys while turning more people onto their products. That was the BD of yesteryear though, the current owners aren't in it to ensure you or I recreate safely.

    Apologies for the cynicism but a variant of this story pops up on a semi-annual basis across the range of products we're all recreating with. It's fucking heartbreaking, there's literally nothing that can be done about it, and I doubt lighting the righteous torches of social media will help.

    Edit: looks like the new models have the same issue but the switch shape clearly precludes any chance of reverting to transmit while getting lanched when in search mode. Cosmetics changes were made to an unchanged switch mechanism.
    Whatever happens, let's hope this gets sorted out swiftly.
    Yo mama's so fat her patronus is cake

  11. #61
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Donner Summit
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    851
    See the video here (swipe left): https://www.instagram.com/p/CGKiX6Fn..._web_copy_link

    Doesn't look cracked from what I can tell.

    Even if BD/Pieps thinks this isn't a product defect, they need to get in front of this. A good part of their business is selling safety equipment after all. E.g. alert people to the problem (with a product safety bulletin not an instagram post), ask people to bring them into an authorized retailer for inspection, and offer a trade-in discount for a new (fixed?) model.

    Meanwhile I'm going to order a Barryvox.

  12. #62
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    Nov 2014
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    curious to see if there's a buyback program offered, I have 2 of these also. both functioning properly, as in I can't force the button to switch once it's locked. part of me thinks, at some point, a direct enough bad-luck hit from a tree/rock/etc on your beacon is gonna result in your dying regardless of the switch mechanism (eg the beacon breaks from impact / battery is dislodged / whatever else)... but I'll certainly keep an eye on it. I like this beacon though, I'm extremely comfortable and well-practiced with it, and can use it without much if any thought, so I'm a little hesitant to toss it and buy another $500 thing because of a small number of loud voices...? can't decide yet if this is worth panicking over, but I'm leaning toward "no"

  13. #63
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    322
    TGR spoke with BD's team this morning about this to gain some clarity from their perspective after hearing Nick and Christina's concern about the obvious issues with the beacon:

    https://www.tetongravity.com/story/g...lanche-beacons

  14. #64
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    Jan 2004
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    the Low Sierra
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    13,268
    thank you for that
    I didn't believe in reincarnation when I was your age either.

  15. #65
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    Feb 2007
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    Colorado
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boissal View Post
    Edit: looks like the new models have the same issue but the switch shape clearly precludes any chance of reverting to transmit while getting lanched when in search mode. Cosmetics changes were made to an unchanged switch mechanism.
    I have a new one, purchased a couple weeks ago. The lock for the slider is mechanically and not just cosmetically different, you have to slide it sideways to unlock instead of just pushing downward on a button.
    "High risers are for people with fused ankles, jongs and dudes who are too fat to see their dick or touch their toes.
    Prove me wrong."
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    throughpolarizedeyes.com

  16. #66
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    Apr 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boissal View Post
    Link no worky.

    I wouldn't say BD is making a weak attempt at covering themselves. They have n=2 tragic events here (and dozens of anecdotal reports from randos whose beacons have apparently misbehaved in a similar manner, ie irrelevant noise). What are they supposed to do about a discontinued design from a company they acquired? Recall them all and give everyone a new beacon? While that would be the right thing to do in a perfect world, that's unfortunately not how it works from a bottomline perspective. Especially considering the fact that the sullied name here will be Pieps, not BD. In the grand scheme of things BD knows that few people will hear about this issue and even fewer will associate it with BD. So, bare minimum done, moving on.

    Climbing analogy: they don't pull all C4 cams from the market and replace them with X4s everytime someone rips one to shred in a fall and gets injured and/or killed. They let the C4s phase out of circulation by promoting the shinier more expensive X4s.

    Incidentally I used that Pieps model for 4 seasons, 2 in the harness and 2 in a pocket. In 200ish days I never once had an accidental switch to receive. That includes ramming the beacon into my sternum while chest-planting that I had a beacon-shaped bruise for a couple weeks.
    strong post
    ive been using pieps for decades
    starting with the one bunion described minus the earbud as the shop you go first loaner
    i used one to win solitudes beacon and eggs comp and then on to snowbird and won 10 days of lift tickets beating the bca rep with a shovel to frozen avvy chunder cut on my eyebrow.
    liberty mnt was great about testing and updating
    The pieps rep was great and gave the wife and i a smoking deal on 2 more after they went out of warranty
    i still use those old beacons on drills and even with an e22 warning they still work fine as drill targets
    cant say bd gitting involved did much for me and i dont use any of their gear anymore as others make better now across the board and their warranty process isnt anywhere near the level of awesomeness it used to be
    i dont quantify much but ive had a peips in its harness on for as many days on snow and in drills as anyone hear and never had a failure
    nor any partners or professional snow safety friends have issues
    It isnt a bad protocal to do a beacon check anytime leaves or enters your party
    other than a morning trailhead check
    but im not a guide nor haz any instahoe followers
    nor a sjmw torch to burn
    "When the child was a child it waited patiently for the first snow and it still does"- Van "The Man" Morrison
    "I find I have already had my reward, in the doing of the thing" - Buzz Holmstrom
    "THIS IS WHAT WE DO"-AML -ski on in eternal peace
    Yo poliassfuckers
    theres a special basement for your lame shit

  17. #67
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    Jan 2014
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    I dont know much about the US legal system, but wouldnt acknowledging a flaw in the design open them up to lawsuits surrounding these accidents?

  18. #68
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    Apr 2004
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    I inspected my DSP sport. Stays locked in send mode. When in search mode can be switched into send mode without pushing the button. According to the TGR interview the button should need to be pushed to switch from search to send. Do not see it as a big issue as pretty easy to see a switch of function when searching. I think I will contact them to see what they say about warranty. I have inadvertently switched my beacon off after doing a beacon check and done a tour with my beacon off using this beacon.
    off your knees Louie

  19. #69
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    Sep 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by BFD View Post
    I inspected my DSP sport. Stays locked in send mode. When in search mode can be switched into send mode without pushing the button. According to the TGR interview the button should need to be pushed to switch from search to send. Do not see it as a big issue as pretty easy to see a switch of function when searching. I think I will contact them to see what they say about warranty. I have inadvertently switched my beacon off after doing a beacon check and done a tour with my beacon off using this beacon.
    Both my Sport and Pro do the same with regards to goIng from Search to Send without depressing the lock button. As mentions either previously here or in the other thread, this is a safety feature in the event of another avy coming down. It's not the first time I've seen this statement made in articles about the need to unlock to revert to Send. Looking through the manual, there is no statement around the need, or lack thereof, to depress the lock to revert from Search to Send in the event of an emergency, only to go between Off and Send, or from Send to Search.

  20. #70
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    Aug 2013
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    Western MT
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobcat Sig View Post
    I have a Pieps with the gray slider; no issues. But good to know that there may be something. I'll be on the lookout now.
    I have the same version. I feel very confident of it functioning properly as long as I use the harness that came with it and facing the screen toward my body. I can't foresee it easily switching out of send mode in that situation. I don't think I would keep it in a pocket though, I think there is a slight potential for the lock button to get depressed and pushed to receive or off. Just my own personal take on what I feel comfortable with, others mmv.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boissal View Post
    . In the grand scheme of things BD knows that few people will hear about this issue and even fewer will associate it with BD. So, bare minimum done, moving on. .
    actualy I am seeing this shared widely on FB by outdoor people
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  22. #72
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    Jul 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by XXX-er View Post
    actualy I am seeing this shared widely on FB by outdoor people
    Yep, lots of outdoor people. High profile, both athletes and guides as well, usually with quite extensive networks within the outdoor community.

    As an avalanche instructor in Norway, I've already heard lots of reactions within the fairly small community of certified instructors in Norway. And the almost unanimous disgust with Pieps/BDs way of handling this situation isn't exactly perfect for them. Before you know it, most, if not all, of the people teaching avy courses are urging their students/clients to stay away from Pieps/BD when looking for new beacons. All of this simply because of how they have handled this.

    I mean, I'm perfectly happy with my Pieps beacons. And I actually got my DSP Pro replaced with a Pro BT (the new one with the different locking mechanism, which seems solid) free of charge by the Norwegian dealer, after voicing concerns when learning of Nick's accident this past spring. However, in light of how Pieps/BD has handled this publicly these past few days, I simply can't recommend buying a Pieps/BD beacon to anyone. I have even become skeptical of buying climbing equipment or other stuff from BD myself. So I think this can hurt way more than they actually think..

  23. #73
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    northern BC
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    a diss aimed at BD showed up on my FB with that picture of 8 climbing bums standing in front of the Chouinard factory in 1969 ... not good optics

    I'm a Barryvox kind of guy myself
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  24. #74
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    Apr 2004
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    cordova,AK
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCMtnHound View Post
    Both my Sport and Pro do the same with regards to goIng from Search to Send without depressing the lock button. As mentions either previously here or in the other thread, this is a safety feature in the event of another avy coming down. It's not the first time I've seen this statement made in articles about the need to unlock to revert to Send. Looking through the manual, there is no statement around the need, or lack thereof, to depress the lock to revert from Search to Send in the event of an emergency, only to go between Off and Send, or from Send to Search.
    Thank's for the information. I can not remember if my beacon ever needed to be depressed to go from search to send. They should clarify as it is very easy to go from search to off when you depress the lock. As i posted before I accidentally made this mistake and spent the day skiing with my beacon off.
    off your knees Louie

  25. #75
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    Feb 2014
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    1,585
    Wouldn't the Pieps proximity sensor solve this issue like on the Micro? In pocket/harness send, out of pocket/harness receive.

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