Monday, 23 January 2012

ALPTRUTH(S) Checklist

A simple little checklist to keep you safe


The Arva "Axis" has all the good  features of the Mammut Pulse(and none of the daft ones IMHO) and the internals are (I think) Barryvox so possibly from the same stable.  But - the Axis is £275 RRP.  It seems a no brainer to me that if you want good technology and a "mark" function then the ARVA is stunning value especially as it's £100 cheaper. Reviews are excellent  and a few friends in the Alps have used them and really like them.  I hope to have a test one soon that folk can try at the Glencoe Beacon park

I can also get the Arva "Link" Beacon, but to be honest I see it as the same as the "Pulse" which will be outsold by the cheaper "Element".  Lets hope Mammut waterproof them better as an MRT at the Glencoe Beacon park had twelve go down with water ingress and had to be returned to Mammut.  Some ski tour folk were at the Beacon park with ARVA Evo's yesterday.  They also seemed happy with the Evo which is the basic ARVA model.

I don't think my stance as the Tracker 2 as being the best and most reliable and simple to use beacon will change.  But a lot of folk seem to want a "Mark" feature. Telling them that the 3 circle search method is just as fast doesn't seem to cut it with them, nor do they like to hear that digging the first person found out fast is what saves lives.  Never the less this seems a good beacon and it gets a 5 star review so mark away. Give me a call if you want one.
The AXIS is the latest avalanche beacon in our product line, and it leverages the technologies and features developed for the Link.

It’s the most advanced and versatile device within its product category. Featuring both digital and analog search modes, a marking function, and a 50 meter search width band, it is the perfect answer for the advanced ski enthusiast looking for performance. 

Features the exclusive Standby function, which integrates a motion sensor to secure the user in case of a second avalanche during the search process, while probing or shoveling.

- Digital and analog
- Search Bandwidth:  50 meters
- 3 antennas
- 4 AAA alkaline batteries
- Operating time: 250+ hours
- Manufacturer warranty: 5 years
- Weight:  9.2 oz, 260 grams

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Friday, 6 January 2012

Lectures and Skiing

What a winter this has been so far! Three Hurricanes and extensive damage at all levels with the local ski area Glencoe suffering extensive damage to huts.
Top "T" Bar return hut.  Blasted!
Major dumps of snow followed by big increases in temperature resulting in big purging avalanche activity, then either crust or ice when it freezes.  I had a good afternoon at Glencoe yesterday to sort out the Transceiver park which got wrecked in the thaw with some beacons faulty, but at least five are working. I helped out the Patrol with a casualty as well.

One that bites the dust but should be ok

Mud and wet snow slide off Broad Buttress BEM
The next while I have curbed  running avalanche training and will just be keeping it to a minimum fulfilling my lecture series for BASP, MRC of S and the MC of S at local venues.  The Ski Patrol Avlx course will go ahead at Glencoe if we get conditions and on the 22nd as part of the FIS World Snowsport day I will be up at Glencoe running companion rescue workshops for Glencoe Mountain and will hopefully have some demo gear to show folks. I have been setting up lectures for the series and thought this series of pics would be of interest. These profiles are for my own use and education and in no way meant to replace the expertise of the SAIS.  They do provide a background to my own knowledge of snow in breadth as well as depth so that teaching companion rescue is in context with other knowledge.

The day before. Surface Hoar
Hoar Layer
The day after the storm  and a loaded "Cam Glen" run
Big Crown Wall of the slide that went on the Hoar layer
Transport to Hospital for the Triggers
Winter league XC Race on Sunday so first time on a bike for a while as due to the weather its been weights or running.  Thanks to all of you who have sent good wishes, prayers and support to Fiona my wife who has Breast Cancer.  She's very positive because of this.  In fact she's time keeper for this weekends race as she would like to get a bit of craic off her mates in the club.
Fiona on her bike

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Avalanche Aide-Mémoire

Feel free to print out this little piece from the AIRE fieldbook and laminate or commit to memory.  It says all there is to say on what actions to take.