Ortovox Boundary Sign Checks Beacon Signal
Ortovox USA and the US Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center have joined forces to create a series of area boundary signs that remind backcountry travelers to be aware of snow conditions and even check to make sure each rider's transceiver is transmitting.
Each sign is outfitted with a specially modified Ortovox transceiver, set to receive signals at a range of six to eight feet. As backcountry travelers pass through the boundary gate, the transceiver fixed to the sign beeps as it reads their signal. The signs also remind travelers to be vigilant about snow conditions, carry the right gear, and understand the consequences of starting a slide. A portion or white marker board allows ski patrollers to post specific messages.
Craig Gordon, an avalanche forecaster for the USFS Utah Avalanche Center, pioneered the idea with Ortovox. "The idea of the Are You Beeping campaign is to reinforce awareness, for people of all ability levels, that they're leaving the area and entering a place with no ski patrol or snow control," said Gordon. "Even experts need a reminder, now and then".
"Initially, there will be three signs at Brighton, one at Snowbird, two at The Canyons, one at Snowbasin, and one at the Cardiff Pass trailhead outside Alta," he said. "We couldn't have undertaken this program without the enthusiasm and support of the partner resorts, who will maintain the signs."
Marcus Peterson, the GM of Ortovox USA is equally pleased. "Anything that Ortovox can do to make the backcountry experience safer and more enjoyable is what we're all about. I look forward to expanding this program to other resorts in the future."
Each signs transceiver is powered by a 110 AC charge. Gordon, Ortovox, and the USFS Utah Avalanche Center are working on a solar-powered version that may be available by the end of the year.