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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Redwood City and Alpine Meadows, CA
    Posts
    8,316

    Exclamation Request: Recommended Beacon/Probe/Shovel List

    It's the time of year when lots of people seem to be asking which avy gear to buy.

    If the backcountry gurus on the board were to develop and maintain a thread a la marshalolson's Recommended Skis & Bindings List, which could then be stickified, I would think it would forestall lots of JONG questions (or at least give folks an easy thing to direct to), and would provide a valuable public service.

    I tend to resist suggesting that others take on work that I will not myself, but I am entirely incompetent even to put together the list of gear, let alone add anything substantive. So I throw myself on your mercy.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    9,300ft
    Posts
    17,627
    Beacons:
    The beacon that works for you.
    The beacon that you are familiar with.
    The beacon that you practice with.

    Best Beacons:

    There are no bad beacons... only bad beacons for you. (Most people choose digital over analog as what is best for them)

    Shovels:
    Large blade of suitable quality
    Long enough shaft (preferably extendable)
    Quick assembly
    Bomber Construction
    D or L handle (no T handles)

    Best Shovels:
    SOS (customizable including optional internal snow saws)
    Voile
    BCA (the extendable ones or at least a Companion fixed D)
    G3
    Life Link (metal AND composite)

    Recommended Probe List:
    Longer than 240cm (no fit in shovel probes)
    Oversized tip
    Metal or kevlar internal tensioner
    Quick assembly


    Best Probes:
    BCA: Profile 240cm QUICKIE & SR3 300cm QUICKIE (this years design makes the the best probes on the market)
    Black Diamond: Super Tour 265cm & Guide 300cm
    SOS: Standard 2.8 280cm & Ultra 3.2 320cm
    Mammut: Expert 265cm
    Last edited by Summit; 01-23-2008 at 05:46 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    30,052
    Understanding how to avoid needing to ever use them and knowing how to use them correctly if needed is more important than brand specifics.

    Questions about avie gear will be answered at the avie course you should take prior to venturing into terrain where it needs to be carried.
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    1,797
    I like my 320cm G3 Speed Tech probe. You can add that to your list Summit. Gunna add beacons? I love my Pieps DSP. No experience with other brands, although I was tempted by the Barryvox (although not for beginners IMHO).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    9,300ft
    Posts
    17,627
    Quote Originally Posted by Toby View Post
    G3 Speed Tech probe.
    G3 probe assembly: throw-yank-push nut-screwscrewscrew

    Best probe assemby: throw-yank (see BCA... black diamond...)

    G3 recalled some probes a while back:
    http://www.genuineguidegear.com/news_20030304.html
    Last edited by Summit; 10-26-2006 at 09:30 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    8,940
    Life-Link Shovels
    Elvis has left the building

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    not far from snowbird
    Posts
    2,245
    Quote Originally Posted by alpinedad View Post
    I tend to resist suggesting that others take on work that I will not myself, but I am entirely incompetent even to put together the list of gear, let alone add anything substantive.
    here's what others on the board have in their packs. there's some new gear and the thread is almost 2 years old but you might find some info there. http://tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22911

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    7,805
    2nd on the BD 300cm Guide Pole
    SUPER quick deployment, and really rigid.
    quickly adjustable if needed, steel cable, and oversized head

    2nd on the g3 shovel as well. Nice D-Handle, light enough, and the blade feels nice and burly. Fairly quick setup and decent length with both sections out.

    it seems saws have been overlooked.
    I have a life-link one which is nice for no other reason than its simple and light. I recently saw (no pun intended) BD's saw that attaches to a ski pole via their flicklock mechanism. Looks sweet.

    If you dont have a flicklock pole, the g3 saw looks nice and has a very accomodating handle to strap it onto the end of a ski pole for extra reach.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Flavor Country
    Posts
    2,558
    The G3 saw is nice but kinda bendy, not so stiff. You have to pay attention when cutting columns or you end up with hourglass shaped ones. But way light and it cuts wood and bone pretty well.
    "They don't think it be like it is, but it do."

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    8,940
    Winter Engineering makes a nice snow saw - available through wasatch touring.

    If you snow geeky, the MEC Snow Study Sporran is a good way to keep all your crap together.
    Elvis has left the building

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    the Low Sierra
    Posts
    12,069
    I might try a new BD flicklock saw this season.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Redwood City and Alpine Meadows, CA
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    8,316
    Quote Originally Posted by pechelman View Post
    it seems saws have been overlooked.
    Because I'm a backcountry JONG. Thanks.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    berkeley
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    1,636
    Quote Originally Posted by Summit View Post
    Longer than 240cm (no fit in shovel probes)
    why is this (the no fit-in)? it's what i've always been told, but never with an explanation. insight?
    Last edited by smalls; 10-20-2006 at 07:07 PM. Reason: clarity

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    SLC
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    Quote Originally Posted by smalls View Post
    why is this (the no fit-in)? it's what i've always been told, but never with an explanation. insight?
    because they are normally way to short to be effective. the BCA one is 180cm(6ft)....what if they are buried 7ft under? not the best quality either

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by smalls View Post
    why is this (the no fit-in)? it's what i've always been told, but never with an explanation. insight?
    the theory goes that anyone buried deeper than x is statistically dead so you need a short probe... so then they justify the tiny probe in the shovel... 180cm... ok maybe that probes to X but with barely any of the probe is left above the snow... you CANNOT probe more than a few times this way before you start hurting. you cannot probe effectively with only 6" of probe out of the snow. it will make your course and fine probing much slower and less effective than when using a reasonably long probe that you can stand up with while you probe. heaven help you if you end up needing a probe line with a short probe you'll be in agony in a few minutes. the in shovel probes also tend to be flimsier than quality probes
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    8,940
    The length doesn't bother me as much as the smaller diameter - which invariably leads to a flexier, easier to break probe. If you are using your probe for rescue of a companion wearing a beacon, you shouldn't be probing much.
    Elvis has left the building

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    not far from snowbird
    Posts
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    there are a myriad of reasons to carry good gear. the best one i can think of is that you're probably not going to be able to predict how and when you'll use it, unless you're a psychic. even good probes and shovels will break with continued misuse. shitty ones will break sooner than later. those thin probes that store in handles are weak, short and take too damn long to assymble, then reassymble your shovel.

    no matter what you choose, be familiar with your gear and know how to use it properly.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    8,940
    No, you can't predict or prepare for every possible scenario. All gear will fail under some scenario. As with a first aid kit, your safety gear should match your parties level of skill, your parties tolerance of risk & the risk present in the area, and your parties desire of self reliance.

    3 things to add to your avy kit:
    - First Aid Kit
    - Means of keeping someone warm & preferably off the snow
    - Means of contacting rescuers.
    Last edited by cj001f; 10-22-2006 at 12:30 AM.
    Elvis has left the building

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Alpy/Stevens
    Posts
    1,314
    Going on cj001f's thought, in addition to waterproof matches that should be in your 1st aid kit, I usually have a small foam sit pad and a small metal (tin) cup in my pack.
    eating and sleeping is serious business

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