Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • olyclimber

      WELCOME TO THE CASCADECLIMBERS.COM FORUMS   02/03/18

      We have upgraded to new forum software as of late last year, and it makes everything here so much better!  It is now much easier to do pretty much anything, including write Trip Reports, sell gear, schedule climbing related events, and more. There is a new reputation system that allows for positive contributors to be recognized,  it is possible to tag content with identifiers, drag and drop in images, and it is much easier to embed multimedia content from Youtube, Vimeo, and more.  In all, the site is much more user friendly, bug free, and feature rich!   Whether you're a new user or a grizzled cascadeclimbers.com veteran, we think you'll love the new forums. Enjoy!
Sign in to follow this  
MrGecko

SPOT System

Recommended Posts

i think the idea that people use their PLBs and Spot devices for splinters is grossly inaccurate. obviously some abuses have been reported, but i'd be willing to bet my next paycheck the vast majority of emergency PLB/Spot calls are for bonafied emergencies, and are, per capita of experienced enthusiast using them, very rare.

 

and not to continue the debate i requested not be continued, but rather just to help people understand why something like the Spot, specifically, might be desirable to some people: a LOT of guys don't climb (thinking of my own mountain ambition) for solitude- they climb JUST to climb. JUST to get to the top. these are the guys updating their facebook status at every rest stop up the mountain... "just reached 12,000... boy am i pooped! oops, looks like Ben's on the move again.. that was fast! next update: the SUMMIT! wish me luck." etc...

 

probably seems silly to some of you... but silly as it may be, you cannot judge. your reasons for climbing/backpacking/hiking/whatever are NOT the ONLY reasons, and solitude seems to be, increasingly, NOT why a lot of guys go into the back country these days.

 

stated not specifically at anyone- just offering a perspective i think i lot of people miss.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
i think the idea that people use their PLBs and Spot devices for splinters is grossly inaccurate. obviously some abuses have been reported, but i'd be willing to bet my next paycheck the vast majority of emergency PLB/Spot calls are for bonafied emergencies, and are, per capita of experienced enthusiast using them, very rare.

 

and not to continue the debate i requested not be continued, but rather just to help people understand why something like the Spot, specifically, might be desirable to some people: a LOT of guys don't climb (thinking of my own mountain ambition) for solitude- they climb JUST to climb. JUST to get to the top. these are the guys updating their facebook status at every rest stop up the mountain... "just reached 12,000... boy am i pooped! oops, looks like Ben's on the move again.. that was fast! next update: the SUMMIT! wish me luck." etc...

 

probably seems silly to some of you... but silly as it may be, you cannot judge. your reasons for climbing/backpacking/hiking/whatever are NOT the ONLY reasons, and solitude seems to be, increasingly, NOT why a lot of guys go into the back country these days.

 

stated not specifically at anyone- just offering a perspective i think i lot of people miss.

 

right on....for me it's the freedom of the hills and the solitude of a small group or solo. I hate to say it but if I had a spot or PLBs I probably would have used it on my last trip. I got "wierd" on the Kautz glacier route just below camp hazard. My "partner" got pissed off because I did not want to push for the summit. He bailed and just started descending while I was trying to get my gear together. I was in all kinds of confusion and hurt vomiting on the way down. At one point I was next to a huge moat and crevasse with the only way out back up. I tried my cell with no luck no signal and I couldn't unlock it, and then screamed for 20 or so minutes with no luck :blush:

 

I was so confused and out of it (couldn't even tie my boot laces and probably did not know what day it was). At that point I probably would have activated one of those things. I did not have one so I did the only thing I could do....slowly down climbed back to paradise all the time dizzy, vomiting, then dry heaving. I only fell once down one of the the scree sections. Then at paradise drank a huge amount of water and threw up again in my "partners" car.

 

doctor later said I had hyponatremia and could have died.

 

I think I will just climb with people I trust from now on and not have to worry about carrying another piece of kit that may not work.

Edited by iceaxe23

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hah.. i saw your TR on MP. either you were super obnoxious or your partner is a total dipshit- either way, you guys should definitely not climb together anymore. X-D

 

glad you made it down.. that sounded scary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had the Spot for 3 years now. I carry it along on longer trips (fly in and when I'm away from home for more than a week). As people have already mentioned... there are certainly issues with it. I've never had to use it in an emergency situation so I cannot personally attest to whether it works or not - but when sending the standard OK messages I'd say 80% of them go through and the 20% that don't go through are usually b/c I only activated it for 20 minutes or so (whereas if you really want to make sure it goes through you need to leave it on for an hour).

 

The check in option is pretty nice if you travel a fair amount and have a partner or family who likes to know that you're alright. I generally tend to activate it every night when cooking dinner (if I remember).

 

As for whether or not I would trust it... I go both ways. Recently I did a week long river trip and my Spot was the only communication device I carried along. My reasoning was that on a river trip weather isn't really a concern. If there's an emergency you press the help button and hope they get the message. Climbing is different.... if you do a fly in climbing trip and shit happens then communication is key. If you cannot talk with your pilot then you have no idea what to expect - thus on fly-in climbing trips I always carry a sat phone & leave it in basecamp. If I'm not on the trip with my wife then I take the Spot as well - but it's solely for piece of mind since I never use the sat phone except for emergencies.

 

So in short... great for shorter trips where you want piece of mind in case something happens. Great for keeping in touch with family when on long trips. Great for a back up when a sat phone is overkill. Not so great in high risk situations where communication is key in the event of an accident (i.e. climbing in a very remote area).

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are primarily interested in sending your location to your blog site then the SPOT seems like a reasonable desire. If your primary need is an absolute last resort emergency device, then get a PLB like the McMurdo.

 

People are gravitating to devices that boast more and more features, just like all the other multi-purpose gadgets in our lives. The problem is that it shouldn't be considered a muti-purpose gadget at all, any more than your single-purpose smoke detector is.

 

Many people are evaluating these things based on the nice extra features, but few are providing insight as to how they work at getting the immediate and accurate attention of search and rescue.

 

Get the PLB and put it away and forget about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×