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Alpine Club of Canada Requires Digital Beacons


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I was doing some research to decide if I should hang on to my Ortovox F1 Focus and came across this article that indicated the Alpine Club Of Canada now requires digital beacons for all club sponsored trips.


What does the CC brain trust think of this? It seems to come down to the condition of the unit and the skill of the user. What do you all think? Would you go into the back country will someone using an analog beacon?

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I'm an old F1 user too. It serves the purpose. I don't care what beacons my partners use. If I'm confident they can rescue me, that's great. If I'm less confident in their ability to rescue me, it has more to do with their overall capabilities & experience than what beacon they use.

That said, I am also considering updating, it's just time. I'd rather just do it than have to do hours of research to keep up on compatibility issues, frequency drift, which is better for multiple burials, and all that. It's more fun to spend that time skiing.

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I lead trips with the ACC and I would have no problem skiing with an old F1 user. Oddly enough, I've never seen one though (probably because they already have their ski buddies and aren't looking for new ones). The handful of F1 users I've seen had just recently acquired them second-hand because they were cheap, have no training, and were probably less likely to find me than a Saint Bernard (Saint Bernards are awesome, just a little dated).


As far as I see it, this is a reasonable policy. I've never actually enforced it (once I should have, but we were already out at the TH by then), but it gives me an excuse to keep out the people who are trying to do the absolute least safety-wise.

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After going head to head last year with a bunch of modern, digital, three antennae beacons, I quickly bought a Mammut Element to replace my old Ortovox M2. Total newbies were schooling me, and it was obvious that the new beacons are far, far superior to the old ones, not matter what your ability. Especially with deep or multiple burials. I'm very happy with the Element, but I know that there are less expensive options as well that will perform nicely.


From what I gather, THIS is probably the best value going right now:


IMO, it isn't worth using the old analogs if you spend a good bit of time in avalanche terrain each winter. I'd highly recommend taking a look here for more in depth analysis on a wide range of beacons: http://beaconreviews.com/transceivers/

Edited by JasonG
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