Transceiver & Probe

A transceiver is one of the items on my shopping list for this season. Based on the riding that we did last season and the riding I hope we’ll be doing in Fernie, and the future for that matter, I’m gonna need one.

The question is should I buy one now or just rent one as and when I need to?

Renting is the cheaper option, for the short term at least, but there are clear advantages to owning your own. First, you’re in control, so you know things like whether or not the batteries are charged and what condition it’s in. Naturally you’d expect this if you hire a transceiver, but it’s a bonus non the less.

Secondly, you don’t need to go to a shop on the morning you decide to head off-piste. If it’s just dumped 40cm the last thing you want to be doing is adding time to your arrival at the top of the hill!

But perhaps most importantly is the fact that you’ll be using the same transceiver each time you go out. This means that you can get familiar with how it works so that in the unfortunate event of needing to use it for real, you won’t be fumbling with how to control it.

So despite the cost I am leaning towards getting one for myself…

  • Which brands should I look at?
  • Should I go for a pure analogue transceiver or a digital model?
  • Is it worth looking on eBay?
  • Should I get a probe too?

Simon passed me a link, which is a transceiver test that Facewest.co.uk did early this year. It’s a perfect review for someone like me who doesn’t really know much about what’s on offer. They sell avalanche safety gear on their site too.

About a probe… if I’m going to get a transceiver I may aswell get a probe too. From what I’ve seen, read and heard, they make finding a burried person much easier and quicker. You can use them for testing snow depth and stuff like that also.

7 Comments

  • Reply April 13, 2010

    Anonymous

    Book yourself an offpiste guide from a company that supply the kit & give you trainingthat’s the way I does it anyhoo

  • Reply April 13, 2010

    Gavin Hope

    That’s good advice!Out of the three items, I already own a shovel. Although I’ve got to admit that I originally bought it for building kickers…I think if I/we end up getting a transceiver before we go, we’ll do some practice somewhere. Maybe the beach or a big field.

  • Reply April 13, 2010

    Kat

    OK, so I’m a park monkey and haven’t ventured down this route yet but from talking to friends you need to consider the following:Make sure everyone in the group has a transceiver & knows how to use itDo an avalanche safety course if you can – lots of resorts offer this for freeGet a probe and a shovel – no point finding someone if you can’t dig them outBe sensible – a transceiver doesn’t make you invincible so don’t ride any closed slopes:o)

  • Reply April 13, 2010

    Gavin Hope

    Yeah, my current shovel is plastic… it kinda bugs me because a lot of people reckon they’re not up to the job if the snow settles hard (in an avalanche, say).With the beeper… after reading some reviews it seems that the BCA Tracker DTS is a pretty good bet. Easy to use. I might go for that.

  • Reply April 13, 2010

    Anonymous

    get one with a digital readout, pointing you exactly where you need to go. Not one of the old ‘triangulate positions’ type affairs. As my old boss said – you don’t want to be stressing about with your machine when trying to look for someone – you’ll be stressed enough as it is.And get a metal shovel – great for kickers too.Oh AND a probe (good for checking landings of those kickers as well as finding your buddy)

  • Reply April 13, 2010

    Anonymous

    that’s the one I have. really easy to use. gave it to some kids at the lift whilst waiting for it to open. my friend hurled his as far as he could into the powder and the kids found it in 30 seconds. very reassuring.Sell the plastic shovel and get a metal one. So much better.

  • Reply April 13, 2010

    Gavin Hope

    That is reassuring about the Tracker DTS… actually that’s the one I’m getting. I’ll probably post something about it when it arrives.It seems like a metal shovel would be a good addition too, probably hook one up when I get out there.

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