In light of recent accidents in Colorado and elsewhere, we think it bears mentioning that our longtime Friends at BCA are developing really great avalanche beacon checker technology to protect backcountry skiers around the world. As always, we are grateful for BCA’s innovation and support.
Posted on 22 February 2010
If you’ve been to the Wasatch or any other high-traffic trailhead recently, you might have noticed a BCA Beacon Checker flashing at you. We’ve been working with the Utah Avalanche Center to put these up at popular trailheads for snowmobilers and skiers/boarders. And we have several more going up on North America and Europe. Here’s our Beacon Checker at Noblett’s Trailhead in the Uintahs (that’s Craig Gordon speaking, from the Utah Avalanche Center):
So far, we have nine of our new Beacon Checkers in Utah, including the Noblett’s and Bear River trailheads, Solitude, Butler Fork (coming soon), two at Powder Mountain, and three in American Fork Canyon. We have another 15 or so outside Utah, including Sunshine Village (Alberta), Silverton Mountain, Highland Bowl (Aspen), Jackson Hole (coming soon), and Kitzsteinhorn, Austria.
These devices turn green if they detect a signal and red if not. They run on various power sources, including solar photovoltaic. If you walk by one of these and it’s not flashing green, then beware: Leave your beacon in the car? Batteries dead? Still in search mode from your trailhead test?
The goal is to make people aware that they should be carrying a beacon, shovel, and probe when they go into the backcountry. The sign also strongly advises checking the avi forecast and taking an avalanche course.
As of last week, however, we now have a new sign going out with each Beacon Checker. It advises always carrying a beacon, shovel, probe–and an avalanche airbag!