Time for a Beacon upgrade. Any suggestions?

Errand Wolfe

Ski like Stein
Skier
Joined
Nov 30, 2020
Posts
137
Location
Colorado
I own several avalanche shovels and the Evac 7 is my favorite. It's sturdy and big enough, both the blade (designed for moving snow) and the length, that it also makes a good vehicle emergency shovel.
 

Mel

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
Dec 14, 2015
Posts
170
Evac7 arrived and it’s a really nice shovel. Very sturdy, easy to put together and take apart, and fits in the pack nicely. Now to break the bad news to the teen that he gets to practice by shovelling the sidewalk all winter…
 

sparty

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Posts
656
Evac7 arrived and it’s a really nice shovel. Very sturdy, easy to put together and take apart, and fits in the pack nicely. Now to break the bad news to the teen that he gets to practice by shovelling the sidewalk all winter…
Can you get the plow guy to push the snow from the road right onto the sidewalk? That should be more realistic for debris practice than fresh snow.

;)
 

Mel

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
Dec 14, 2015
Posts
170
Thanks again to everyone who chimed in with advice for me. I started off not really knowing much at all about backcountry gear, but am very happy with the quality and usefulness of what we got.

Final kit assembled! Just purchased a 270 probe today. Waffled between that and the 300, but this should be fine for now.
AAA7EB52-EAB5-44D6-A4AD-7913ABC34667.jpeg

Everything snug in the pack. Evac7 fits perfectly.
DC697559-4D42-4121-934E-0C6F67BB157F.jpeg

Obviously haven’t used it skiing yet, but the pack seems very nice. Cinches down to about 7cm thick with just the avy gear in it and has a separate compartment for lunch, layers etc. The teen really liked the fit of it on his back. Now to wrap everything up for his birthday! Finally, when I told them at my local shop it was for my teen to ski the dive, they threw in a little gift for me & my husband…
E4F5314F-704E-4B73-BBDE-87ECF36ED0C1.jpeg

Cheers!
 

Slim

Making fresh tracks
Skier
Joined
Oct 2, 2017
Posts
2,231
Location
Duluth, MN
@Mel , I think that last one goes in the ‘brag about a gear purchase’ thread, even though you didn’t ’purchase’ them :ogbiggrin:

Great looking set up!

As far as packing the safety gear goes, the challenge usually only happens when the packs main compartment is stuffed full. For lift served that likely won’t be an issue at all, and even for true backcountry, all day tours, 32 liters should be plenty, so I am sure he will be fine.

I am a beginner backcountry skier, so others can correct me if they feel different, but I put my probe in my pack without the storage sack it came in.
Guides I have asked, agree with that.
I did that after watching a helmet cam video of a real avalanche burial, where the rescuer had to take off his gloves to get his probe out, and then his hands where freezing by the time they reached the victim.
If the pack doesn’t have a full sleeve, but only some loops, I sometimes keep the probe together with a thick hair tie (that can just be pushed off with mittens on).
 
Last edited:

Mel

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
Dec 14, 2015
Posts
170
@Mel , I am a beginner backcountry skier, so others can correct me if they feel different, but I put my probe in my pack without the storage sack it came in.
not to worry, just still in the bag for backpack testing purposes and to make it easier to get the wrapping paper around it for his birthday! The pack has a full sleeve so no need for anything at all to hold it in place, fortunately. He will also be getting good instruction and practice Jan-March with it all and expert advice from someone much cooler and more experienced than his mother
 

Primoz

Making fresh tracks
Skier
Joined
Nov 8, 2016
Posts
1,713
Location
Slovenia, Europe
@Mel I am a beginner backcountry skier, so others can correct me if they feel different, but I put my probe in my pack without the storage sack it came in.
Guides I have asked, agree with that.
I did that after watching a helmet cam video of a real avalanche burial, where the rescuer had to take off his gloves to get his probe out, and then his hands where freezing by the time they reached the victim.
If the pack doesn’t have a full sleeve, but only some loops, I sometimes keep the probe together with a thick hair tie (that can just be pushed off with mittens on).
I always have it in bag that it came with. But in my case bag is open on top and probe is actually some 5cm out of bag this way, so I can easily grab it with backpack full packed and with thickest gloves I ski with. Without that bag, I would say in my case it would be worse and harder to get it out. But these things depend on what kind of bag for probe you have, how your backpack is done and also what kind of gloves you are skiing with. I believe it would be much harder to handle that with thick gloves with no fingers (sorry no idea how that should be called, but I guess you know what I mean), but I don't ski with that. So I would say it's no strict rule with that, but quite personal preference. But either way, you should be able to get whole avi equipment out of backpack and have it ready as fast as possible and without removing extra stuff, either clothes or stuff you have in backpack.
 

Cheizz

AKA Gigiski
Skier
Joined
Aug 15, 2016
Posts
1,110
Location
The Netherlands
In most courses that I know of or have attended myself, professionals teach to leave the little bag off the probe, unless you are using a pack that doesn't have an internal sleeve to hold it. The reasoning: the more actions you can eliminate, the better. That little case serves no purpose really once the probe is in a backpack that has been designed to hold it properly.
 

Slim

Making fresh tracks
Skier
Joined
Oct 2, 2017
Posts
2,231
Location
Duluth, MN
@Primoz , you lucky dog! Never needing to wear mittens! I have some circulation or nerve issue, so mittens are always in my pack, if not on my hands, during winter. :nono:
 

Primoz

Making fresh tracks
Skier
Joined
Nov 8, 2016
Posts
1,713
Location
Slovenia, Europe
@Slim I'm ex xc skier, and everyone and their dogs have those thick lobster gloves on a second they finish with skiing, me included. But for ski touring, or alpine skiing, as soon as I started to use Hestra RSL comp gloves, my hands are warm. I agree they are not perfect ski touring gloves, especially for climbing up on foot (for skinning up I have thinner gloves anyway, but once I get ice axes in my hands, I rather sweat a bit then have frozen fingers from cold metal), as you can easily get some snow in on end of gloves, but they are warm for me (and free :ogbiggrin:). So with those, I really have no need for something warmer (and without fingers :) ).
@Cheizz I agree with that, but in my case, and especially with my current backpack (still old ABS Powder), keeping probe in bag is plus... at least is stays together and when I drag it out (bag stays in backpack, as it's open on top and last few cm of probe exposed so I can grab probe directly), I can drag it without probe catching somewhere in backpack. So in my case, this bag is good thing. But yeah I agree, less things to hassle with the better, so if backpack has separate sleeve for probe, don't bother with extra bag.
 

Dwight

Practitioner of skiing, solid and liquid
Admin
Moderator
Joined
Dec 13, 2015
Posts
5,757
Location
Central Wisconsin
I can get discounts on BCA Tacker 3 or 4, Black Diamond Guide or Recon and Pieps Micro BT. Any preference for inbounds? All about the same price too.
 

Primoz

Making fresh tracks
Skier
Joined
Nov 8, 2016
Posts
1,713
Location
Slovenia, Europe
@Dwight are you sure about "all about the same price too"? I admit I don't know much about Black Diamond, as that's more on US side, over here we have Pieps, but as far as I understood, Guide and Recon are same as Pieps Pro BT and Powder BT. There's quite a bit price between Powder BT and Pro BT, with Micro BT sitting somewhere in middle. But if they are really about same price for you, I would certainly pick Pieps Pro BT or in your case BD Guide. I never liked BCA transceivers, and maybe with Tracker 4 things might be changed, but with earlier, I just didn't like them. My wife has Pieps Pro BT (BD Guide) now after they changed her DPS Pro last year, while I have Mammut Barryvox S, and I would say Barryvox is a bit better, but Pro BT is very very close. So if I would need to pick one of your list, BD Guide would be the one. If there would be price difference as we have here between Pro BT and Powder BT (BD Guide vs. BD Recon), I would ask myself if I really need those extra features Pro BT/Guide offers. But then again, price difference here between ProBT (BD Guide) and Powder BT (BD Recon) is about 100eur, and 100eur is not all that much when we are talking about life saving equipment, even though most of extra features of Pro BT/Guide are more on comfort side then life saving side.
 

ZionPow

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
Oct 3, 2016
Posts
401
Location
Wahsnatch
I have a Pieps Pro BT that I use for patrol work. I use it close to 100 days per season and I spend a lot of time in avalanche terrain. It is excellent and has great range and is easy to use the basic transmit and search functions. It has many advanced functions that probably won't be needed for recreational use but they don't complicate the basic functions.
 

Dwight

Practitioner of skiing, solid and liquid
Admin
Moderator
Joined
Dec 13, 2015
Posts
5,757
Location
Central Wisconsin
The Pieps micro Race BT and Micro Button BT are the ones I can get. Maybe I go with the Black Diamond Guide BT instead. I can't confirm but based on features and pictures, I would say the BD Guide is a repackaged Pieps Guide.
 

Primoz

Making fresh tracks
Skier
Joined
Nov 8, 2016
Posts
1,713
Location
Slovenia, Europe
@Dwight at least in Europe, there's no Pieps Guide, and if I got that right, there's no Pieps in US, but it's BD. So if all this is correct, then BD Guide is same as Pieps Pro BT and BD Recon is same as Pieps Powder BT.
 

Mel

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
Dec 14, 2015
Posts
170
Final update!
2F8259E0-13BE-40B7-8AA7-3E309BA8E5DA.jpeg

Teen testing everything out for the first time this weekend. The backpack has all of his gear (except the beacon) in it, along with lunch and a spare puffy. The fit is great, and the gear inside is easily accessed. He’s super excited for this season & now has quality gear that will last him for years. All of the advice here let me buy everything well in advance, before the current supply chain issues cause any problems - local shops are definitely having problems restocking the shelves, and only likely to get worse in the next few months.

Thanks again!
 

Slim

Making fresh tracks
Skier
Joined
Oct 2, 2017
Posts
2,231
Location
Duluth, MN
Super cool @Mel ! Your kids is lucky with such parents!
and I love that called out the beacon is not in the pack, you saw that one coming :roflmao:
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mel

Mattadvproject

Love that powder!
Industry Insider
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Posts
673
Location
Granby, CO
There was a discussion on probe diameter somewhere year or so ago. Was it here on ski talk?
Anyway, the gist of it was that:
  • thicker (larger diameter) probes are stiffer
  • stiffer probes are better, because in a real rescue, stressed out, you might be ramming it in, not gently handling it.
  • longer probes tend to be larger diameter.
So, if you can find the diameter of the probe, that would be worth considering,

Other than that, most modern probes have decent tips, and the tightening mechanisms seem pretty good too.
Markings vary in ease of readability, so that is worth a look too.


edit: here is that thread https://www.SkiTalk.com/threads/avy-safety-probe-lengths.18458/#post-531725



In that spreadsheet Ortovox lists not only total length, but also collapsed lenght. you can see that the longer probes also have longer collapsed lengths.

Yes, that was me that wrote that a year or so ago....
 
Top