The Most Dangerous Piece of Avalanche Gear

9:30 a.m. on May 24, 2012 (EDT)
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I'm amazed.

If you're caught in an avalanche, the people you're with can switch their avalanche beacons from Send to Search. But what if their beacons only had a Send mode?

11:21 a.m. on May 24, 2012 (EDT)
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Peter, 5,000 G.N.A.R points to you for pointing out this horrible idea!

11:43 a.m. on May 24, 2012 (EDT)
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I can think of four uses for them. 

  1. Backup beacon (don't know if you really need one)
  2. Kids.  If the child is not big enough to help he doesn't need a search mode and the won't lose a really expensive one. (begs the question: What kind of moron are you taking kids with you? Snowmobiling?)
  3. Practice beacons.   Bury them and then have students find them.  This, I think would be a good use for them.   Heck you could even make a game out of it. 
  4. Attach one to you kids at the shopping mall.  Then if they run away, you can track them down if you want them back.

BTW. How do you keep from losing the beacon?

12:26 p.m. on May 24, 2012 (EDT)
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I read this article posted by OR on FB. All I kept doing was shaking my head.

This goes with the whole thing I keep in mind when looking at the prices of some of the other gear I purchase that I really need to rely on. 

What kind of price would you put on your own life or the lives of your loved ones?

(Still shaking head.)


2:42 p.m. on May 24, 2012 (EDT)
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I could see getting one of these for my dog.

7:18 p.m. on May 24, 2012 (EDT)
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It's actually for those who have a hard time finding camp, or their car.


8:13 p.m. on May 24, 2012 (EDT)
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I agree it is just idiotic that this safety device do not have the opportunity to let your friend near by find you. But do they also have showels? If not then it is often of little consequence since the digging out a person takes time.

In Italy they have made a statistical survey of who survives/dies in an avalance. Up till 15 minutes the chance is 93%, after 30 minutes it is only 30%. If you are taken by a small avalance the chance of survival is great, as the snow amount is less. In a big avalance you are buried in metres of snow. That takes time to dig out even with showels.

It all boils down to one sentence: Dont get caught in an avalance!

This year we had an accident here in Norway where 6 persons were taken by an avalance, just one survived. They had all the latest gadgets like avalance airbags, beepers, rods and showels. Nothing worked. The one that survived did it because he was thrown on top of the snow, the others were buried and all died. On person was dug out under 6 metres of snow!

My point is that even with the search mode this gadget may get some people to venture into dangerous terrain and get killed anyhow. The key to survive is not in some electronic instrument but in the knowledge and careful selection of riskfree tracks to follow.

Hehe, I agree with Ed, this device is just useful to put in the car so you find it in the carpark.

9:29 a.m. on May 25, 2012 (EDT)
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What's a G.N.A.R. point, and where do I go to cash them in?

9:30 a.m. on May 25, 2012 (EDT)
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MoZee said:

I could see getting one of these for my dog.

 Yup. And if you're buried he'll be able to find you with just his nose and dig you out.

11:34 a.m. on May 25, 2012 (EDT)
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G.N.A.R: Gaffney's Numerical Assessment of Radness


1:18 p.m. on May 25, 2012 (EDT)
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Sounds like an ACME product the coyote would buy. You know how that always works out.

3:08 a.m. on May 29, 2012 (EDT)
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Man, is this thing a stupid idea, except for maybe on a small kid and then, WTF? Taking a kid into avy territory?Who does that? About as smart as the couple I saw a Baldy two seasons ago-the wife had their baby in one of those front mounted baby harness/backpack things. No helmet of course. She just ignored me when I told what she was doing was dangerous-one fall and the kid would have been brain damaged at the very least. Some people should not be parents.

Doh! Forgot to mention, Baldy is where I go downhill skiing. Yes, folks, she was pulling a Britney Spears-using her baby for an airbag.

7:19 a.m. on May 29, 2012 (EDT)
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whomeworry said:

It's actually for those who have a hard time finding camp, or their car.


...within a, what?, 40 meter radius. And what if everybody in the parking lot or campground has one? Could be pretty funny...

7:43 p.m. on June 3, 2012 (EDT)
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As an Avalanche trained ski patroller I's say this item needs to be made ILLEGAL! D@mn dangerous.

But the most important thing to take into avalanche country is avy training. With training that you'd never even consider owning a "SnowBe" or going with someone who did.

January 26, 2020
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