Friday, April 14, 2006

Got an old Avalanche Beacon? Give it a new home

Each winter there are many lives lost to avalanches. Although more and more of the backcountry skiers, snowboarders and snowmobiling who venture into the mountains are carrying avalanche beacons this is just the first step. You have to regularly practice finding buried beacons to stay fresh and ready. Most avalanche victims will not survive past 15 minutes.

Research carried out in Italy (Nature vol 368 p21) based on 422 buried skiers indicates how the chances of survival drop:
  • Survival drops very rapidly from 92% within 15 minutes to only 30% after 35 minutes (victims die of suffocation)
  • Near 0% survival after two hours (victims die of injuries or hypothermia)
  • Historically, the chances of survival were estimated at 85% within 15 minutes, 50% within 30 minutes, 20% within one hour.
(Stats courtesy of

Considering these statistics Teton County Search and Rescue will be setting up a new beacon basin type practice area for next winter. It will probably be located up at Togwotee Pass but that has not been finalized. They are currently looking for older 457 (or dual frequency) avalanche transceivers that people are willing to donate. If any of you have one laying around just gathering dust please contact Ted Kyle or mail your beacon to Ted. This donation will be tax deductible (hint - this weekend is tax weekend for you procrastinators)

Phone: 307-733-4052

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 1885
Jackson, WY 83001

If you'd like to contact Ted via e-mail: tkyle AT jhre DOT net



Blogger outdoorspro said...

Not yet ready to donate my beacon, as it's nice to have an extra when friends show up.

A lot of ski areas will have beacon courses set up for their patrollers to practice on (mine does). Some are available to the public.

Just ask a patroller (nicely) if they have one and where it's located.

BTW, if anyone ever dares to kig up and steal a beacon from a course, they are karmicly guaranteed to die horribly.

Also, if you want to check out a gear review on the Voile Tourlight Probe, check out my blog at:

4/19/2006 5:48 PM


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