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whistle?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I am off to Japan and will be on my own for a couple of days before a friend joins me later. Do not intend to ski on my own off-piste other than obvious and safe next to piste. Would a whistle make sense (say I fall and need some help but nobody can see me in a snow)?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
It should be part of your standard kit anyway, and for the couple of quid it will cost, go for it. Get a proper outdoor one, they are usually orange, and very loud.

Even when you are skiing in group there are so many trees and rollovers, it is easy to loose sight of one and other, and we often end up shouting out variants of Coooo Eeeee etc

Also check if your backpack has one built into the chest strap clip, as many do.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
If getting a proper outdoor whilst, do as @PowderAdict says and get the orange plastic variety.

Don't get the metal type. I know we like to think of metal as being a bit more premium quality but I once blew mine on a really cold day in the Lakes and my lips got stuck to the metal, which apparently wouldn't have happened with a plastic one. I had to warm the whistle up with a fag lighter for quite a while until I could get it prized off and it still left a bit of a mess of my top lip. It wasn't nice.

For bonus points, if you have a pocket on the front of your jacket or on your backpack strap, tie it inside using some paracord (or the string they often come with) with enough length that you can blow the whistle without having to untie it.
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dp wrote:


Don't get the metal type. I know we like to think of metal as being a bit more premium quality but I once blew mine on a really cold day in the Lakes and my lips got stuck to the metal, which apparently wouldn't have happened with a plastic one. I had to warm the whistle up with a fag lighter for quite a while until I could get it prized off and it still left a bit of a mess of my top lip. It wasn't nice.



AS I started reading the thread I wondered how long it would be until someone shared a story like this. snowHead
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
dp wrote:
If getting a proper outdoor whilst, do as @PowderAdict says and get the orange plastic variety.

Don't get the metal type. I know we like to think of metal as being a bit more premium quality but I once blew mine on a really cold day in the Lakes and my lips got stuck to the metal, which apparently wouldn't have happened with a plastic one. I had to warm the whistle up with a fag lighter for quite a while until I could get it prized off and it still left a bit of a mess of my top lip. It wasn't nice.

For bonus points, if you have a pocket on the front of your jacket or on your backpack strap, tie it inside using some paracord (or the string they often come with) with enough length that you can blow the whistle without having to untie it.


ouch ...
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PowderAdict wrote:
It should be part of your standard kit anyway, and for the couple of quid it will cost, go for it. Get a proper outdoor one, they are usually orange, and very loud.

Even when you are skiing in group there are so many trees and rollovers, it is easy to loose sight of one and other, and we often end up shouting out variants of Coooo Eeeee etc

Also check if your backpack has one built into the chest strap clip, as many do.


Hmmm, I have a confession to make. I am (usually) a control freak and safety cautious. But I go to Japan to learn some soft snow skiing. It is not my intention to go proper backcountry until I am more confident off-piste. Based on some of the advice I received I understood I can "survive" without hurting myself and others without avi pack ... the main risk as I understand is fissures in the snow pack (a fall situation and an avi pack would not be of much use?)
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@mooney058, are you asking about if you should have an avalanche bag or about the whistle still?

A whistle could be useful on, or just slightly off piste, in the right (Wrong) conditions. In serious whiteout blizzard conditions, you can come off the piste quite easily by accident and hurt yourself. Blowing 3 blasts on your whistle with a gap in between (They say a minute, screw that) will draw attention to you whether by the piste patrol or just some other people skiing past. Nobody hears somebody blowing 3 blasts in a blizzard and thinks "oh it sounds like they're having a really nice time"...

For me personally, I take safety gear wherever there is an avalanche risk, even if I am not intending to ski off piste. Partly because I might change my mind and ski off piste, partly because an avalanche can still affect a piste, and partly because if I see an avalanche occur near me and I've got my kit with me, I can assist with a rescue. When you're looking for somebody trapped under the snow, more people looking can only ever be a good thing.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
mooney058 wrote:
PowderAdict wrote:
It should be part of your standard kit anyway, and for the couple of quid it will cost, go for it. Get a proper outdoor one, they are usually orange, and very loud.

Even when you are skiing in group there are so many trees and rollovers, it is easy to loose sight of one and other, and we often end up shouting out variants of Coooo Eeeee etc

Also check if your backpack has one built into the chest strap clip, as many do.


Hmmm, I have a confession to make. I am (usually) a control freak and safety cautious. But I go to Japan to learn some soft snow skiing. It is not my intention to go proper backcountry until I am more confident off-piste. Based on some of the advice I received I understood I can "survive" without hurting myself and others without avi pack ... the main risk as I understand is fissures in the snow pack (a fall situation and an avi pack would not be of much use?)
if there is a risk of falling down a fissure, then wait for a mate, rather than relying on a whistle.
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And how is the mate going to know you are in the fissure?

Apart from the fumaroles, the biggest risk I found was the undercut stream beds, some of which were metres deep, and you would just disappear. Yes you can shout, but as @dp, says no one should ignore a whistle.
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Fissure? Like a crevasse? I think I'd want a bit more than a whistle if I was planning on falling in there wink

--
Whistles are standard issue at some back country operators I use. The plastic ones without a pea are best, clipped somewhere you can easily get to it. Don't blow it unless you need the cavalry; just yell to locate people in the woods unless it's an emergency.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
dp wrote:
Blowing 3 blasts on your whistle with a gap in between (They say a minute, screw that) will draw attention to you whether by the piste patrol or just some other people skiing past. Nobody hears somebody blowing 3 blasts in a blizzard and thinks "oh it sounds like they're having a really nice time"...


I bought a mountain whistle some years back (supposed to be 108dB Laughing )and carry it in my backpack, never had cause to use it fortunately. The instructions that came with it say "The international distress signal is 6 (my italics) blasts of a whistle followed by a pause of 1 minute and then a repetition of the 6 blasts. If your signals are heard there should be an answering whistle - 3 blasts followed by a pause of 1 minute, repeated several times. Continue to signal until you have been located"
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
yeah that is meant to be the international distress signal

When I was working on the cruise ships, they explained the international distress signal to us as you have a whistle on your lifejacket. Then they said it really is up to you if you want to wait a minute in between drawing attention to yourself, but you might get better results doing it every 10 seconds. You can see the logic. A minute is a surprisingly long time, especially when you're cold and alone.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Forget the whistle. In the many decades Iíve been going to the mountains Iíve never used one or even heard one used. Thereís a new thing now to replace the whistle that works really well, a mobile phone.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Except a mobile phone will not work in the back country; it will interfere with your transceiver if you're carrying one; you probably can't get to it if you're in a tree well; it's not inherently capable of being used as a location device (unlike a whistle or transceiver). I have a whistle, although I've never used it. I have extracted other people from tree wells who were using theirs. It's just a really neat way to say "I'm not just yelling for my buddy, I'm actually in trouble here". Each to their own.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@jbob, sorry but that is an absolutely idiotic post.

You've never personally been in absolutely dire straits so therefore it is not possible to be.

Would I sit there blowing my whistle whilst I had 4 bars of 3G and 75% battery life? Obviously not. If my phone had no battery/signal and I was stuck in a rut with a broken leg would I be really really glad that the little tiny whistle that cost £3 and fits in my jacket pocket and weighs practically nothing was in fact sat on my kitchen table because some numpty on the internet said it was obsolete since the invention of the mobile phone? No probably not either.

If we were talking about carrying a bloody great tannoy speaker around in your bag I'd get your point but we're talking about a whistle. It's so small and lightweight you barely even know you've got it, but it can create a very loud noise from fairly little effort which carries far better over distance than shouting "help".
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Thanks to all, will get one tomorrow. I have a metal one as part of my summer hiking kit, but will get a plastic one tomorrow. My new norrona mits have a small hook, might even attach it there. Hope it would only stay a decoration Cool
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
PowderAdict wrote:
And how is the mate going to know you are in the fissure?

Apart from the fumaroles, the biggest risk I found was the undercut stream beds, some of which were metres deep, and you would just disappear. Yes you can shout, but as @dp, says no one should ignore a whistle.
he was talking of going off piste alone for two days, while waiting for his mate to arrive, he can whistle Dixie for all the good it would do him if his mate is in another country.

my point was that its best to wait until him mate arrives, and ski together.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Sack the Juggler wrote:
PowderAdict wrote:
And how is the mate going to know you are in the fissure?

Apart from the fumaroles, the biggest risk I found was the undercut stream beds, some of which were metres deep, and you would just disappear. Yes you can shout, but as @dp, says no one should ignore a whistle.
he was talking of going off piste alone for two days, while waiting for his mate to arrive, he can whistle Dixie for all the good it would do him if his mate is in another country.

my point was that its best to wait until him mate arrives, and ski together.


I will be with Mike Pow for a couple of lessons, then a few days on my own. Then on my own for a couple of days and I will be super carreful and very easy off piste next to a piste only. But I am also pretty certain to meet fellow skiers at the place I stay in Niseko Moiwa. Such a simple item as a whistle is good to have, as some said - in case weather closes in or having a falll ... never been to Japan before so not sure what to expect. And going to learn primarily as most of my soft snow skiing is very limmited. Even with a 2-4 weeks a year in Europe was not particularly lucky with sufficient fresh snow.
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mooney058 wrote:
Sack the Juggler wrote:
PowderAdict wrote:
And how is the mate going to know you are in the fissure?

Apart from the fumaroles, the biggest risk I found was the undercut stream beds, some of which were metres deep, and you would just disappear. Yes you can shout, but as @dp, says no one should ignore a whistle.
he was talking of going off piste alone for two days, while waiting for his mate to arrive, he can whistle Dixie for all the good it would do him if his mate is in another country.

my point was that its best to wait until him mate arrives, and ski together.


I will be with Mike Pow for a couple of lessons, then a few days on my own. Then on my own for a couple of days and I will be super carreful and very easy off piste next to a piste only. But I am also pretty certain to meet fellow skiers at the place I stay in Niseko Moiwa. Such a simple item as a whistle is good to have, as some said - in case weather closes in or having a falll ... never been to Japan before so not sure what to expect. And going to learn primarily as most of my soft snow skiing is very limmited. Even with a 2-4 weeks a year in Europe was not particularly lucky with sufficient fresh snow.
ok Mooney, stay safe and have a great time out there
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Most decent skiing packs have a whistle built in to the chest strap, have you checked your pack ??!!
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dp wrote:
@jbob, sorry but that is an absolutely idiotic post


It was meant to be tongue in cheek. Seriously though, I do have a little whistle incorporated in my rucksack strap (cost nothing, weighs nothing), but itís not really something I feel adds a great deal to my security. I have found that unlike in the UK where the phone signal is very hit and miss in the mountains, in the alps (donít know about Japan) the coverage seems to be excellent. My check list in the uk hills would be first and foremost my phone, followed by map, compass, torch, first aid kit, chocolate, drink.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I suppose I started my mountain "career" walking in the Lakes etc and it was always drummed into you to carry a whistle as best practice. I still do when skiing but it's not something that's ever pushed much in the skiing community but I think still makes sense, a mobile isn't always reliable or accessible.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@mooney058, I purchased a pack of 6 off eBay a few years ago, one for each member of the family and I think it cost me about £8. They were the long orange ones that would normally be on an inflatable life vest. They fit easily into the top pocket on a jacket and I made sure everyone had it tied to the built in clip that usually holds your goggle wipe. Hopefully it will never get used ...but!
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Got two 117dB rated yesterday from an independent outdoor shop in Brussels. Made in England, ACME. Will fit one on my glove strap and one in my jacket pocket. So my last two purchaces are very different in their level of sophistication- a Resqski system and a whistle. Next year, assuming I would not be totally hopless on/in softer snow, a full avi pack (looked at the one from arcteryx, but it is very pricey...)
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mooney058 wrote:
Got two 117dB rated yesterday from an independent outdoor shop in Brussels. Made in England, ACME.


I believe they also made the whistles used on the Titanic..... Madeye-Smiley
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
MogulMonkey wrote:
@mooney058, I purchased a pack of 6 off eBay a few years ago, one for each member of the family and I think it cost me about £8. They were the long orange ones. They fit easily into the top pocket on a jacket and I made sure everyone had it tied to the built in clip that usually holds your goggle wipe. Hopefully it will never get used ...but!


Shocked thought we were talking whistles.................
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@jbob, sorry I think (a) it didn't really come across as tongue in cheek (for future reference, I think liberal application of Very Happy Toofy Grin Madeye-Smiley Little Angel wink Cool snowHead Laughing etc helps); and (b) I think part of the reason for that is that far too many people really do rely on their mobile phones as their sole form of security on the mountain.

It's not even just an off piste thing. I was at Evasion MB a few years ago when a serious end of day low cloud / fog / blizzard kind of thing set in and visibility dropped to literally 1 or 2 metres, the ski patrols had to guide all the skiers to the bottom after the lifts stopped, and did so by skiing at the front of a queue with 1-2m spacings, blowing a whistle. Simple but effective, as long as you could see the person in front and the whistle was in front of you, you knew you were going the right way. There was no way you could have navigated if you didn't know the area.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
KenX wrote:
MogulMonkey wrote:
@mooney058, I purchased a pack of 6 off eBay a few years ago, one for each member of the family and I think it cost me about £8. They were the long orange ones. They fit easily into the top pocket on a jacket and I made sure everyone had it tied to the built in clip that usually holds your goggle wipe. Hopefully it will never get used ...but!


Shocked thought we were talking whistles.................

He was. A pack of 6 whistles.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
You want your whistle on your zipper if you go near treewells. Plus when you get a waft on you get a nice bit of battering around the chin to harden you the f up.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Iíve just had an idea for an app.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
As implemented
nted
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
This is what we carry instead of a transceiver, shovel and probe now, right?

Just checking before I put my kit in the recycling.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
In the case of the OP, he's not talking about riding off piste at all. If you aren't either, then you certainly wasted some money on that stuff.
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My Mountain Equipment jacket came with a whistle attached inside a pocket.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@mooney058,

I have always carried a whistle on a fixed call to my Jacket.

This is very cheap & effective alarm bell (never to be used in any other circumstances)
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Dave of the m talks sense. You want it near your mouth in case you really mess yourself up and can't open pockets or move arms much. That's why the chest strap whistles on osprey sacks are great. You might want to rethink your glove attached one as gloves are ripped off in crashes.
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