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Nick

Best Avalanche Beacon?

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Everyone, what is the best avalanche beacon, and why? Which ones have you used?

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Hey everyone-

We think the Arva 9000 is really good. Exceptional range, and very easy/fast to use. We invite everyone to see for themselves. Swing by and try out our demo pair down at Lowen Park(1/2 a block from the shop). Test them out, share your findings here, and give us some feedback on them.

We'd love to see your comments and information about these beacons and others.

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promountainsports.com

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I have both a Pieps 457 and an older Ortovox dual frequency beacon. I like the Pieps better, mostly for aesthetic reasons, but both are serviceable. The Ortovox is from the days of yore where you had to plug in an earpiece, and there is no visual cue (unlike newer Ortovox beacons).

The best avalanche beacon is the one you use regularly - even my decrepit Ortovox is better than nothing in the backcountry, and since I have two I never have to put up with the lame excuse "uhh, I don't own one" when heading into the backcountry. I paid 100$ each for my beacons; from various places around the country you can buy them for as little as 150$ new.

An avalanche beacon is the second most important piece of gear you can own after a helmet for winter climbing and skiing. People who don't have them and venture out there anyway are, frankly, amateurs looking to get tagged.

Alex

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I like the Arva 9000 - it's digital, so I can search very quickly, and it has a lit display, so it works in the dark. It has both an lcd distance display, signal strength lights, and beeping pattern (faster when you get closer).

when I race people with analog beacons, I am faster. the tracker dts is the only one that can beat me, but I understand that it's range is less. Range is also highly dependant upon depth of burial and orientation under the snow.

jason.

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I have used the induction method beacons(Arva, SOS, Ortovox M1) and find that these work very well if you know what you are doing. For someone who doesn't go out and practice the DTS Tracker is the way to go. It is still the easiest to use, fastest, and excels at multiple burials. If you have a Tracker and your friend has something else, trade him!.

Mike

Cascade Crags

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I have the DTS tracker and I only have good things to say about it. But, I hear that the new Barryvox transceiver, which is sold by Burton, is a very good one. It is supposed to be the lightest and smallest beacon, but it is also digital. Worth checking out.

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DTS Tracker by far...How many times do you and your friends practice searches with your avalanche beacons? Yeah right, when the gett'in is good you start carving not checking batteries and walking around snow fields trying to find some other frigin buried beacon. The Tracker let's you be lazy without risking your life. I did field tests with folks who never heard of an avy beacon let alone ever get out in the wilderness. With less than 3 minutes instruction they could easily locate another beacon when using the Tracker. Then I tried with other "conventional" beacons and good luck! When struck by a panic situation don't you think the easier, more intuitive device is the way to go? I did over- whelmingly and most of my friends did also. The Tracker has other smarts as well. The system prompts you for confirmation every few minutes when you are in search mode (ie. receive instead of the default transmit). If you happen to be hit by a subsequent avalanche and are trapped your beacon automatically converts back to send mode so that other searchers may find you. I don't think the other beacons have such options. Other numerous options I won't mention but the unit is well built and well thought out. Not to mention, the tracker tells you remaining battery percentage on start-up.

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Avalanche beacons are for body recovery.

Anything else is a blessing. They are not even the second or third most important piece of equipment. Your brain is the most, but it needs to be educated with a snow saftey/ avalanche course by an accredited teacher. You also need a shovel. You also need to have the attitude that there is no "saftey" in a beacon.

The best avalanche beacon is the one you practice using over and over and over............again! On in the car off in the bar! NO EXCUSES!!!

 

 

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a comment on practicing w/ beacons. We set up a practice session inside a warehouse once. It sucked. We'd start turning into a signal...then be thrown off on a tangent. It took us fifteen mionutes before the hider noticed something was wrong. It turns out the rebar in the concrete was screwing things up. I guess the radio signals were bent or retransmitted in a way that made any sort of directionalization impossible! How frustrating. Maybe you want to keep htis in mind if you set up a pratice session.

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