Thursday, December 19, 2013

A little shout-out from our friends at Northern Escape Heli

I hate to toot our own horn, but sometimes it's just gotta be done!  We recently saw this article from our friends at Northern Escape Heli (NEH) detailing the Pulse Barryvox Avalanche Transciever.  For those who aren't familiar with them, NEH runs guided heli and snowcat trips near Terrace, BC.

Personally, watching the guides at an operator of this level work as a team to manage the safety of groups of clients is pretty amazing.

Friday, December 6, 2013

TECH TIPS: Perfecting Intelligent Search 4.0.

In the past several years, digital beacon technology has come a long way. At this point, even a first time user can usually perform a COARSE SEARCH for a single buried companion in a very short amount of time.

However, the FINE SEARCH still has a tendency to befuddle all but the most practiced users. Common errors include failing to check all four sides of the grid, erratically waving the beacon, and moving from standing to kneeling positions.

PULSE 4.0 Intelligent Search (labeled "assisted" in the settings) provides a fast, accurate, and efficient assisted FINE SEARCH which makes it much more difficult to fall into one of the aforementioned traps. In fact, it performs so well, that I believe professionals will also find the new update to be of great use.

There are, however, some guidelines to using Intelligent Search properly.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Understanding Your Avalanche Forecast

Avalanche Forecasters have a difficult job--they do not simply need to understand the specific stability issues in their respective regions, some of which are very large and variable, they also need to communicate that hazard to the public. In an effort to simplify the message to the public, many forecast centers in North America have adopted the "Avalanche Problems" model, which has proven to be a direct and clear method of communicating the heart of the matter.

Mountain Guide, Canadian Avalanche Forecaster, and AIARE founder Karl Klassen presented the relatively new Avalanche Problems concept at this year's ISSW in Grenoble and again at the Utah Snow and Avalanche Workshop (USAW) in Salt Lake City. The Canadians have developed a clean, icon-based system which aims to categorize avalanche hazards into 8 problems. A concise summary of the 8 Avalanche Problems used by the Canadian Avalanche Association can be found here: