Dec 18, 2010 at 12:04 pm #1266700
For those of us who can't afford avy beacons and may accidentally find themselves in avy territory I think wearing an inexpensive RECCO radio frequency identification (RFID) reflector may be a way of insuring that at at least they'll find your body before spring.
At my ski area most of us patrollers wear RECCO tags B/C we don't cary our beacons unless we KNOW we're going into avy territory. But there's always the off chance we could get caught in an avalanche. It happened once in 2005 and killed a snowboarder.
I have one on the back of my ski helmet ane one in my parka's chest pocket. REI imbedded one in the right arm of their Sushkan eVent parka.Dec 18, 2010 at 12:36 pm #1675405
ya, they are and thats sorta what they were designed for, added safety for an inbound avy or just out of bounds one….
Only problem is finding one someone with just the RECCO – you need an expensive, bulky and heavy radar sensor, and you relay on ski patrol to hear about your avy, get organized, go out and bring a sensor. I've heard of helicopters being mounted w/ RECCO ground penetrating radar in Europe but if your in North America, in the backcountery, or even really in the sidecountery just a RECCO I think is a really poor idea.
You have really no notion of when or if the ski patrol will show up, or if they will in time to save you from the tramma of a avy, or the suffocation. Being able to find your buddy and dig them out quickly is really what could save their life – or use actual knowledge and practice to avoid high risk situations.
BTW – you really need a Recco in your boots too or your pants at the hemline – that way if your head down they can still find you (as I understand it the radar reflectors can be blocked by your body).Dec 18, 2010 at 12:58 pm #1675413
@biointegraLocale: Puget Sound
Every mobile phone in the US has emergency-GPS location services that work even when the cellular signal is off, as long as battery is ok. The device may need to be "on" with some models; I am not sure of all of the details.Dec 19, 2010 at 11:16 am #1675661
gps cell phone and a RECCO sounds really dumb to me in avy terrain.
Sounds great to have inbounds if something happens there though.Dec 31, 2010 at 11:56 am #1679255
The last 2 weeks have seen record snowfall in our Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort.
We now have a total of 8 feet as of Dec. 28th. Our avy control guys have shot the 155 mm. Howitzer a lot this year, not to mention the many hand charges they climb up and drop to release smaller pockets of buildup.
Those heavy snow days all patrollers carry avy packs and wear our beacons on transmit.Jan 1, 2011 at 12:32 pm #1679496
@mtn_nutLocale: Morrison, CO
IMO, recco transmitters are dead body locators. pretty much useless within the survival window that most people have if caught in an avalancheJan 3, 2011 at 11:33 pm #1680301
As I said, with a RECCO reflector "…at least they can find yer body before spring." I never meant it to be anything more than a body locator.
But the best safety item for going solo in the winter, as I sometimes do, would be the new Spot II beacon. At least they'd have a rough idea where to look for "recovery" if you had been sending regular locations.
(Lord! GPS units,avy beacons, Spot beacons – will it never end?)Jan 4, 2011 at 11:20 am #1680419
false sense of security – i always chuckle when a sales person points them out on a garment and trys to make it a selling point.Jan 4, 2011 at 11:23 am #1680421
@rcowmanLocale: Canadian Rockies
The only reason they put it in anything is because they use it in Europe. Useless feature. I don't even say anything about them when selling jackets. (sell a lot of jackets up here too.)
cadaver dog=good body finderJan 4, 2011 at 12:29 pm #1680443
Whistler SAR uses it, too (and that place is way more Aussie than Euro!)
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