Friday, February 16, 2018


Mammut has issued a notice to users of the 3.0 airbag system to check that the installation of the airbag in the backpack is correct.  The 3.0 system has a NEON ORANGE trigger handle and balloon.  The older 2.0 and 1.0 airbag systems (RED trigger handle and balloon) are not affected. 

In some cases, incorrect installation of the airbag system in the pack may have caused significant bending of the deployment cable. This could have a negative effect on the functioning of the avalanche airbag after repeated deployment. If you identify the installation problem described in the instructions, please rectify it immediately in accordance with the following instructions (link).

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Adirondack BC Ski fest 2018 cancelled due to ridiculously warm weather

Unfortunately, the Mountaineer in Keene Valley, NY has had to cancel the 2018 Adirondack Backcountry Ski Festival (link) .  Located in the heart of the Adirondack high peaks region, the event is a fun community gathering in what is one of the coolest backcountry ski destinations in the East.

When it's in shape to ski this region has mega-cool terrain and is not to be missed, but unfortunately a sufficient quantity of demo water-wings and swim fins could not be located in time.  Hopefully the weather turns around again in time for a late refresh and we can all get out skiing in March and April, but for now they've been forced to cancel the event. 

If you have questions about the event or schedule, please drop the Mountaineer a call at (518) 576-2281 and tell them we said hi!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Tech tips: I accidentally changed the language of my Barryvox S--how do I switch it back?

Every once in a while we get a call from someone who accidentally switched the language of their transceiver or is borrowing one from someone who speaks a different language.  Both the Pulse and now the Barryvox S support a number of languages. If your transceiver is set to a language you don't speak, don't panic--it's simple to change it.
The Barryvox S supports English, French, Spanish, Italian, Swedish, Norwegian, Japanese, Slovenian, Polish, Czech and Russian

First, step-by-step instructions

Friday, December 8, 2017

Genswein Pro Avalanche Rescue Workshop

Over four days from November 26-30th of 2017, the greater Teton community of professional avalanche workers banded together to participate in an inter-agency professional avalanche rescue workshop led by Manuel Genswein from Saint Mortiz, Switzerland.

One hundred and twenty five (125) participants from eleven (11) organizations participated. Agencies included Teton County Search and Rescue, Jackson Hole Ski Patrol, Grand Targhee Ski Patrol, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Guides, Exum Guides, Jackson Hole Mountain Guides, Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center, Tordrillo Mountain Lodge, American Avalanche Institute, GTNP Jenny Lake Rangers, and High Mountain Helicopter Skiing.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

A "virtual tour" of the new Barryvox S & Barryvox Transceivers

The new Barryvox and Barryvox S transceivers are slowly finding their way to many retailers.  Because they've been hard to find we're getting a lot of questions from people who want to see what they're all about.  These short videos give a quick overview of the function and feel of both the new Barryvox S and the new Barryvox and walk you through the basic functions of each beacon.

These videos are intended to give people a feel for the new beacon without having it in hand, and only include a "quick-start" on the basic functions. If you are an advanced user or want real instructions please make sure to check out the Barryvox S Extended Reference Guide or the Barryvox Extended Reference Guide for complete instructions.  This link is very helpful for those deciding between the two beacons.

Here's the video for the Barryvox S:

And, here's the video for the Barryvox:

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Tech Tips: The "Landing Strip" fine search...what is it?

Many instructors teach a 2-axis grid fine-search.  However, many people end up performing a pretty sloppy grid search, complete with excessive movement of the searching beacon and elevation changes that affect the ultimate accuracy of their pinpoint location, and spend a lot of time doing so.

One alternative that is easier and faster for many people is to teach the "landing strip" fine search.  Mammut prefers this approach, especially with newer practitioners, to try to improve the efficiency of the search.  In this case we can take 2 approaches to improve the efficiency of the fine search--we can do this through TECHNOLOGY such as that used in the Smart Fine Search in the Barryvox S, or we can do that through TECHNIQUE, such as the "landing strip" fine search here.
The "Landing Strip" is the extension of using an airplane and airport as an analogy for doing a beacon search. When you are really far away from the airport, you can fly high and fast, and directional changes wont affect your ability to make a safe landing--we liken this to the signal-search phase of a beacon search.
The "airport" analogy for a beacon search has the rescuer slowing down and holding the beacon lower as they approach the buried subject, similar to a plane slowing down and losing elevation when approaching the runway.
As you get closer, the airplane needs to slow down a bit and lose elevation, and needs to reduce any maneuvering in order to come into the airport in the correct direction--this is akin to the coarse search.  In the final approach to the runway, the plane needs to slow way down, lose most of its elevation and come in very straight--this is the fine-search.  For this reason, when we teach beacon-searching, we use a "airport" visual.

 In the "landing strip" fine search, the rescuer approaches low and

Monday, October 30, 2017


Your new Mammut avalanche transceiver  comes with a user manual printed in several languages, but if you like to get the most from your equipment it's worth going online to download a copy of the Barryvox S Extended Reference Guide (link) or the Barryvox Extended Reference Guide (link).  
The Extended Reference Guide is available online as a PDF, and contains additional information on advanced searching that is not found in the basic User Manual included with the beacon.

The Barryvox S Extended Reference Guide contains the basic User Manual that came with your beacon, but also contains additional comprehensive information for your BarryvoxS on device settings, advanced search and rescue techniques, and in particular the "Pro Search" option and the alternate search mode, which are not contained in the more basic User Manual.  Anyone who will ever practice alternate search strategies such as micro strips, micro-box or 3-circle should consult these instructions on utilizing the advanced search functions of the Barryvox S.  It is an important and valuable resource for advanced recreational and professional users—and all educators.

The Barryvox Extended Reference Guide contains additional information on conducting Group checks before a tour, more comprehensive rescue strategy, and more comprehensive information and guidance for conducting multiple burial searches and companion rescue guidance.  

If any of the above describes you, you can download a copy of the appropriate Extended Reference Guide directly at the links above, or through the Beacon Info landing page on this blog (along with other resources).  

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Where did the "Barryvox" get it's name? Barry the rescue dog!

Picture yourself in the Swiss Alps in the year 1810.  Small farming villages dot the landscape below the high, glacier-covered Alps.  In fall, farmers move their herds from the high alpine meadows full of  grasses and flowers, to the lower elevations to escape the first snows of the season.  Travel between valleys means crossing the high passes at altitudes up to 8000feet, on paths and rough roads, some of which, like the Great St. Bernard Pass in Southwestern Switzerland, were built by the Romans.  Unlike the modern paved roads and tunnels underneath the passes we see today, simply going to the next valley was a difficult and sometimes risky journey subject to sudden storms, snowfall in any month of the year and frequent avalanches.  When a traveler or a herder went missing in the high alpine, if they were lucky one of the rescue dogs was turned loose to perform a rescue.  These dogs, the ancestors of today’s St Bernard, were able to follow a person’s scent through deep snowdrifts and hopefully make a rescue.

The most famous of these dogs was Barry Der Menschenretter or “Barry the people rescuer” from the Great St. Bernard Hospice.
Barry the rescue dog is the namesake of Mammut Barryvox avalanche transceivers 
Barry, who lived from 1800 to 1814, is credited with about 40 rescues, the most well-known

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Deciding Between the New Barryvox S and Barryvox Transcievers: Which Beacon Should I Get?

Since Mammut has two brand new transceivers available this October, this post will try to help people decide which is best for them, and at the end I'll provide some guidance specifically for professional organizations who operate a fleet of transceivers.  We've also covered the basic functions and what's new about the beacons already HERE (link), and will continue to go into detail on various functions and features to help people get familiar with the new beacons throughout this fall and winter.  Anyone who has specific questions that aren't answered, please let us know in the comments so we can edit to clarify or include the info you need in a future post.
The Barryvox S offers enhanced performance that benefits all users, regardless of their experience.  It also offers additional function for anyone who will practice an Alternate Search Strategy such as micro strips.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Is it winter yet? UIAA unveils new Standard for avalanche shovels

It's September, and last week it hit 24-degrees F on the summit of Mt Washington here in New England, so despite fires raging across the Western US and Canada and tropical storms across the Southeastern US, winter can't be far away.  Here at Mammut North American HQ we're busy putting the final finishing touches on our plans for the new Barryvox and Barryvox S avalanche transceivers, which will begin shipping early in October, and we have a number of informational posts tee'd up so people can get up to speed on these new beacons, as well as on our usual general interest-topics and events calendar for the season.  If you are interested in keeping up to date this winter and haven't subscribed to this blog, please do so on the right margin below the "tags"--we promise to keep the spam to an absolute minimum!

This is just a dude with a broken shovel.  It's annoying when you can't dig out your driveway to get to work, it's quite a different thing if your shovel were to break in an emergency.  The new standard should give users information to help ensure the equipment they are using is worthy in a rescue.
Speaking of general interest topics, the UIAA, The International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation, has recently unveiled a new Standard for avalanche rescue shovels.  The new standard, UIAA 156 (link), sets parameters for the size, geometry and strength that an avalanche shovel must meet in order to pass the testing, and has been in the works for quite some time.  Previous to this Standard there was no industry-wide standard for shovels so users had no independent verification of what was deemed to be an acceptable rescue tool.