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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 9:00 pm 
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Location: Portlandia, Orygun...
Thanks for all the great replies. I am in the same camp as Solo, in the fact that I usually ride by my self most of the time. I guess for that reason, I never considered that a beacon was all that useful. But that train of thought has been changing lately (maybe I am just getting older,,,).

So far it looks like the Tracker is the best buy for a digital these days.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 10:46 pm 
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Location: PNW Hood Canal
So what on earth do we have to do to get SOLO of Eugene hooked up with Otto of Portland? I know there are many situations of Non Avalance Suffication Deaths of riders, boards, sleds or skis, who fall into tree wells, have serious injuries or die. One such death just happened last week.

I like reading the input of the members of this forum, I hope to continue to do so for many years into the future. I never thought of a beacon on a single rider being for a body recovery purpose, but that is true too. I just think that I prefer the thought of first, having one on everyone and never really needing to use them, or two, having one on everyone and being able to use that tool to cheat death by digging them out before the reaper can arrive. On that thought, I think I may buy a second beacon, just so I can practice around the house...maybe even play a little hide and seek with my children...never miss an opportuity to practice (but still keep time to ride) and never miss a chance to play and teach the kids something.

Safe New Year to all, lots of crazy weather waves pushing ashore with lots of varied temps and precipitation, safe new year to all.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 11:43 pm 
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Location: Portlandia, Orygun...
Mumbles wrote:
So what on earth do we have to do to get SOLO of Eugene hooked up with Otto of Portland?


Something to the tune of 400 miles...

But on another note, There is something serene about going solo. I seem to enjoy it more. I have always been like that.

When I am by myself, I have only myself to rely on, and to worry about. Perhaps this adds to the challenge.

On another note, typically, alot of the popular BC areas around here (St. Helens, Snowdome, Palmer) are actually crowded on weekends, so you never are truly solo.

But hey, I am always up for someone to go with, then someone other than me can do the drive... 8)

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 1:42 am 
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Location: PNW Hood Canal
Otto, I did not realize it was that far. I used to drive 250 miles to the nearest resort when I lived in Spain, that drive sucked bad, but it was a necessary evil to reach the only place that snow fell in the south of Spain. Needless to say for 16 weeks a year when the resort was open and a few before and after we basically loaded up the car, truck or whatever and lived out of the darn thing for the weekend. Much better to ride two days after driving all that way. We also made sure we worked lots of extra shifts throughout the spring, summer and fall so we had all or nearly all of our winter weekends free (and saved money for food and/or rooms on the road).

I'm far less social as I get a bit older, and they call me Mumbles because I talk to myself a lot, solitude is highly appreicated and under rated.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 10:27 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 11:08 am
Posts: 7
Location: Seattle
some thoughts on this after pondering a bit.

What happens when you are in the bc, a slide occurs and you are the closest, or worse, only rescue. You arrive on the scene and find your beacon is blowing up, maybe two signals, but that old beacon that sends just fine has a crappy speaker and your having trouble deciphering which way to go first. You DON'T HAVE LOTS OF TIME! Gauranteed the digging is gonna take time the last thing you want to spend time on is getting a strike. IMO you want to have that done in the first minutes cause if you wanna be rescue and not recovery you need the next 20 mins for digging!

Bottom line a beacon is not just about you. It's about your buddys and the bc community. So don't be selfish.

On beacons: sure they can all work but you want to be rescue and not recovery, you want the fastest and most effective beacon. I was just with a group practicing some scenarios and beacon drills. I would have to say that easily(9 out of 10 times) digital was faster. If you really know your analog, it could be better in a multiple burial except against the Mammut Pulse. So while I agree you may not need to blow your wad on a beacon I do believe a new beacon will likely be easier to use which will save you time. In this group there was an old school Pieps, new Pieps, F1, Mammut Baravox, Mammut Pulse and another ortovox model I think F2 can't remember (no Tracker so dont have a side by side there :( ). Anyway, after seeing all work side by side I would say the Pulse is the good ish and I feel better about my chances of rescue with that than I do with any other.

If you want the ability to help other people get the goods, and forgo buying that new stick or Arcteryx outerwear.

Peace,
Brian


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2008 12:31 am 
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the beacon is a tool and you are the user. buying the best drill doesnt make you the best carpenter. you owe it to your buddies to practice regularly not buy the most expensive beacon.

analogs have there merrits, they just take longer to master. Comparisons between the two are often unfair.

have you ever seen a person who really knows how to use an f1 performs a multi burial search .... amazing

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 Post subject: I agree with Brian and Caminga
PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2008 10:20 am 
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Location: PNW Hood Canal
I have been riding over 20 years, but only now have begun to enter the backcountry. I have taken guide BC trips in Europe, but now i'm really doing it on my own skills and merits, not just minimal skills with a guide. Both Brian and Caminga are correct in my opinion. Brian's point is very good about the ease of use for the Pulse, the beacon I bought. As someone one who uses mine mostly for hide and seek with my kids or around the neighbohrood for practicing so that I am capable of using it efficiently when time is of the essence, I'm comfortable with the Pulse. Caminga is right that those with tremendous experience and practice with their beacon, analog, ancient or otherwise, they can dial in single or multiple burials in wicked fast times. As impressive as they may be to watch, when it is crunch time and it is just me and my riding partner I'm glad that I spent my money on the Pulse and I'm confident that I will locate that signal and excavate that snow efficiently enough to give my partner every chance.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 6:33 pm 
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Location: Now Oaktowntastic
I used the Tracker for the past few seasons, but after experiencing an avalanche scenario last season I decided to put some of my 'fun money' for the season toward a Pulse.

There were five people on a treed slope that broke. Two people were carried to the bottom & partially buried. Of the three people up top, two grabbed trees and struggled in tree wells for a while. The third person came down the slope right away to start a rescue.

One of the partial burials at the bottom couldn't access his beacon so it was stuck on send. One of the guys struggling in the tree well up top had his on send, too and the signal would fade in and out as he struggled in the tree well. There was no way to communicate from the top of the slope to the bottom so we weren't sure if everyone was accounted for. It was really confusing and scary as this extra signal kept fading in and out. And then other people arrived to help and some of them were in send mode, too. If someone had been buried it would have taken too long to get to him. It wasn't until the two guys up top came down the slope that we knew everyone was accounted for.

The Pulse is very rad. It can distinguish between different beacon signals by the small variations in their broadcast frequencies. If it picks up 3 signals it displays them in a list. You scroll to whichever signal you want to investigate and the beacon locks to that signal. Once you account for a signal, you can put a tick mark next to it to indicate 'found' and move on to the next signal.

The bottom line for me is that the Tracker is a great beacon and certainly adequate. But the Pulse is better and would have been a great help in that scenario. We could have immediately marked the partial burial and started concentrating on the stray signal to see if it was a real burial.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 7:52 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 3:00 pm
Posts: 294
Location: Northern CA
SanFrantastico wrote:
I used the Tracker for the past few seasons, but after experiencing a real avalanche scenario last season I decided to put some of my 'fun money' toward a Pulse.

There were five people on a treed slope that broke. Two people were carried to the bottom & partially buried. Of the three people up top, two grabbed trees and struggled in tree wells for a while. The third person came down the slope right away to start a rescue.

One of the partial burials at the bottom couldn't access his beacon so it was stuck on send. One of the guys struggling in the tree well up top had his on send, too and the signal would fade in and out as he struggled in the tree well. There was no way to communicate from the top of the slope to the bottom so we weren't sure if everyone was accounted for. It was really confusing and scary as this extra signal kept fading in and out. And then other people arrived to help and some of them were in send mode, too. If someone had been buried it would have taken too long to get to him. It wasn't until the two guys up top came down the slope that we knew everyone was accounted for.

The Pulse is very rad. It can distinguish between different beacon signals by the small variations in their broadcast frequencies. If it picks up 3 signals it displays them in a list. You scroll to whichever signal you want to investigate and the beacon locks to that signal. Once you account for a signal, you can put a tick mark next to it to indicate 'found' and move on to the next signal.

The bottom line for me is that the Tracker is a great beacon and certainly adequate. But the Pulse is better and would have been a great help in that scenario. We could have immediately marked the partial burial and started concentrating on the stray signal to see if it was a real burial.


Great feedback!!! I'm guessing all my Pulse rants acutually hit a positive cord with some of you on here. Great to see others posting their good experiences with the Pulse.


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 Post subject: beacons
PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:46 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2007 5:34 pm
Posts: 38
Location: EUGENE, OR
Mumbles, hide and seek with the kids is exactly what I do with my second beacon. It keeps me in practice and ensures that my beacons are working properly. I also bring it to the trailhead with me to do a beacon check. The last time I went out I ended up lending it to a guy who was also by himself so had decided to leave his beacon at home. So it might not be as cavalier as I might have sounded. Otto, we are only 120 miles apart. The hill on my last trip report is not much farther from PDX than it is from Eugene. I have my eye on a spot that is even closer to you and looks very promising, I am just procrastinating on the 1600' of trail breaking.I would love to have a partner for it. PM me if you would be interested.


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 Post subject: Sweet, Solo and Otto finding common crystals
PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 9:31 pm 
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Location: PNW Hood Canal
Solo, the kids like the hide and seek and I don't think they quite get how bad daddy is cheating. I can always find them. The beacon that they have is a really old trashed out Ortovox, but it lets me keep the search skills at least somewhat.

I'm glad you and Otto may have a common collection of snow crystals to enjoy. Safety in numbers. I'm likely to ride inbounds tomorrow as no one can seem to bag work for the day.

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 Post subject: Re: beacons
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 6:51 pm 
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Location: Portlandia, Orygun...
solo wrote:
Otto, we are only 120 miles apart. The hill on my last trip report is not much farther from PDX than it is from Eugene. I have my eye on a spot that is even closer to you and looks very promising, I am just procrastinating on the 1600' of trail breaking.I would love to have a partner for it. PM me if you would be interested.


Actually, you are right, I might have exaggerated the distance, even for a round trip.. :oops: :oops:

Hahaha... Breaking trail. That, and the huge avy danger right now is also keeping me at home more. :roll:

PM sent.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 4:20 pm 
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Location: Portlandia, Orygun...
OK, So I went ahead and got the BCA Tracker. The place I bought it for threw in a free BD probe as well. Sweet!

So I took it up with me this last weekend for some slackcountry up on Hoodie. Before I headed out, I did some practice at the Beacon Basin the Mazama's have set up at their lodge.

I found finding the buried beacons fairly easy, even when I toggled the unit to set up multiple burials. (this was my first time ever using any beacon)I noticed that searching with a beacon was just like using the Radiodetection unit I used to locate buried utilities and Pipes. I think it is actually the same technology, but the Avy beacon is in a smaller package.

All in all, this beacon and the availability of a place where one can practice searching as much as you like is an added bonus.

Cool, now I am stoked that I am at least proficient in using the unit, even if hope I never will need it for real.

Now, I just have to re read my Avalanche Handbook by the Mountaineers. :roll:

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