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personal locator beacon

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I've got a PLB I use for sea kayaking. Would it be recognised if I used it off piste skiing in the event of a mishap? Would the coastguard in Falmouth send a message with my position to French authorities asking them to look out for a yellow sea kayak lost down a crevasse?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
In the event of an avalanche you are not going to be able to press it. The only time it could potentially be useful is if stuck in a crevasse. Although you shouldn't be skiing glacier terrain without a partner or group anyway - so again rather useless.
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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?
thankyou boarder 2020 for giving the mountain advice (which I am fully aware of and comply with)without attempting to answer the question

For example if I came across another party in one of the predicaments in your scenario needing rescue where there is no mobile phone signal and it is a long way from a lift station (for example)
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What are the regs re your beacon frequency in Europe for starters. I know terrestial PLBs were banned in UK ( not sure about now).
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
thankyou boarder 2020 for giving the mountain advice (which I am fully aware of and comply with)without attempting to answer the question

For example if I came across another party in one of the predicaments in your scenario needing rescue where there is no mobile phone signal and it is a long way from a lift station (for example)
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
http://www.mountainsafety.co.uk/EP-PLB.aspx

go for it. obv not a avalanche transceiver but as a mountain rescue beacon, why not ?
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@On the rocks,

Are you talking about something like the Spot Messenger and/or Delorme/Garmin Inreach?

I donít see why not, if you donít have mobile coverage and itís the only way to contact help.

Iíve been looking at the both for hiking/camping. What do you have?
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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!
I use one of these
https://www.marinesuperstore.com/safety-beacons/plb-ais/ocean-signal-rescueme-plb1-with-gps-plb?utm_source=google_shopping&utm_medium=pcn&utm_term=99354312&utm_campaign=MSS&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIl-fFysjj3QIVJ7XtCh2Scg9EEAQYASABEgJ9wfD_BwE
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@On the rocks, I don't see why not. The Breitling Emergency can be used anywhere. Clearly you know that you have to be careful and that you are insured for the rescue costs, as I understand it the alerting is free. Not sure from your link what the frequency is, hopefully both 121.5 and 406. I have thought about something like this for touring in case of an injury especially if buddies were involved as well, e.g. you are the last man standing after an unfortunate avalanche. You don't have to be far out of a resort to reach a mobile free zone.

I wore one for the whole of my career, so kinda miss the security blanket.

A DVA with beacon - now that would be a thing of beauty.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Quote:

For example if I came across another party in one of the predicaments in your scenario needing rescue where there is no mobile phone signal and it is a long way from a lift station (for example


Well if you are skiing on a glacier you would have ropes and be able to rescue them.

The example above about your whole party being caught in an avalanche and you being incapacitated by injury is the only example I can see where it would be useful.

I just think the odds of it being used is so low it's not worth carrying.

Quote:

You don't have to be far out of a resort to reach a mobile free zone.


Really? I'm surprised to hear that, I would have assumed mobile coverage in europe was pretty extensive everywhere.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
[quote="boarder2020"]
Quote:

Really? I'm surprised to hear that, I would have assumed mobile coverage in europe was pretty extensive everywhere.

I live on the Cambridge / Essex border and there are plenty of mobile black-spots.

With regards to PLBís, Iíve had a McMurdo Fast Find for years.

https://www.mcmurdogroup.com/mcmurdo-products/mcmurdo-fastfind-220/


Last edited by snowHeads are a friendly bunch. on Mon 1-10-18 9:51; edited 1 time in total
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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.
@On the rocks, I think youíd need to register it with the French. Feels like a bit of an edge solution.
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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
I can see situations where it might be useful. One poignant example would be the Haute Route tragedy from March - stuck on a white-out ridge within easy reach of rescue from nearby refuge, but no way of informing them.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@boarder2020, if you ski down from the col du palet in Tignes to just below the refuge (about 200m vertical) your phone becomes just a camera. This often surprises folks when I question them on group safety.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I've just bought a PLB-1 a gps linked beacon for windsurfing/sailing. They are also fully recognised globally as distress beacons & hence not just for the sea. When you register it you can add any relevant info on usage, so mine includes my watersports regular haunts, vessel ID's etc & the regions where I'm likely to be Skiing.

In the UK Falmouth Coastguard get the bleep & according to the RNLI folks they will be on their way, or a heli in 5 mins. The RNLI guys I met in the summer on an open day could not recommend one enough. £175 well spent that I hope to never use.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Also, if touring in a small group and someone breaks a leg in rough terrain. If you can't extract them yourself and have no mobile signal the options are limited to leaving them to seek help or waiting for someone to report you missing.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
For my non-skiing hobby, I am legally required to have a PLB (or equivalent) with international coverage and usable on sea or land. I understand that while your details are held by the authority you register the device with, immediate assistance will be launched worldwide. I hadn't previously considered carrying it while skiing but may in the future, although as I ski almost entirely on-piste I'm unlikely to actually need it. I have a McMurdo Fastfind - not heavy or bulky, nor particularly expensive.
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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?
I'm currently evaluating what might be the best gear pretty well based on a hike over the weekend when I became a tad concerned at a loss of mobile reception together with my GPS packing up and just maybe one of our group was a tad weaker and then the potential of the weather closing in which did have me thinking how quickly the scenario could have got worse and how we might have been in the mire, with the only way out of me legging it down the mountain until I came back into mobile reception, though you never know if when it's showing no reception that sometimes you can still call emergency?

Has to be said nowadays it's not that often that we find ourselves in areas when we're hiking / ski touring that there is no mobile reception but sods law would dictate that were something to happen then we'd have no reception.

For sure as has been mentioned before a VHF radio could be the answer.

I'm looking at a Garmin Mini InReach and as well as the hardware cost you then have the data subscriptions costs.

The BlueTooth app which is able to connect the InReach to your phone is from what I've read a little flakey, but that's only if you need to send texts and navigate with a downloaded map.

It's very much about live tracking as well, so for instance if I go out on my own (which I do) the OH can track me via a web app and when I go to Siberia it will sort of be live bragging as I know certain people on here would just love to see what I get up to Laughing
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@Weathercam,
These people offer better tariffs for the inreach
https://www.protegear.de/produkte-tarife/inreach-iridium-datentarife/
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I have one of these built into my Spinlock Deckvest. If I go in, the vest auto inflates and the beacon starts transmitting... unless I cancel the transmission. https://www.mcmurdogroup.com/mcmurdo-products/mcmurdo-smartfind-s20/

That would work with an avi airbag, but the ability to manually activate may be very restricted if you were in the avalanche or were knocked out by it.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@Weathercam, the Garmin solution is fine for communicating with your friends, but for emergency purposes the fastfind is half the price and internationally recognised. It transmits on 121.5 MHx, the international aviation distress frequency as well as 406 MHx, the international general distress frequency which will be quickly picked up by satellites. Currently, there is no better general distress solution that I am aware of.

However (!) it will not work with the transponder underground!

While I am only semi-aware of the details and therefore may be wrong, I suspect the poor chap who died in Tignes last year would have been saved if he had carried one of these devices.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Alastair, yes agreed - but there is also navigational functionality as well with the InReach.

If you thought mobile call / data plans were a tad confusing the various data / subscription plans for the InReach are in another league!
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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!
@Weathercam, I have my eye on a mini inreach too. Post up a review if you go for one
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
I don't see why it shouldn't be used .Going a tour, or off piste includes being correctly equioed to assist in the event of an emergency, therefore you would also need to carry a regular tranciever to enable you to help in a search. So really it bewcomes just another bit of kit, but cheaper than a satphnoe.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
I have a McMurdo Fast Find Ranger PLB

I often cycle alone, sometimes hike alone, occasionally ski or ski tour off piste alone

I bought it in case of injury somewhere remote where my phone isn't working (or if i'm lost in dangerous conditions somewhere not so remote), it's small and light, seems like a sensible investment.

Could also be useful when with a group in some circumstances (eg Haute Route disaster mentioned above)
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@Arno, some questions I've asked.

Couple of questions as the data plans are somewhat bewildering

First: Can the Mini InReach GPS functionality be used without being connected to a data plan - in other words can it be used as an ordinary Garmin GPS linked by Bluetooth to a smartphone for mapping navigational purposes?

Second: Track points how frequent are these as the safety plan has 100 in 30 days and the Recreational 600 are these like way points or are they self initiated. So if I was uploading a live track to a Web App the track is not automatically updated ?

Though having read a bit more (sorry) the frequency can be set to scheduled time intervals - so if it was a 3hr climb I could set it to 15mins so that would be 12 track points?

Can you please provide a bit more information about MapShare and the Bluetooth App for using the GPS for mapping nav on a smart phone.
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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.

http://youtube.com/v/yMU8xVeHARo
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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
Been looking at options for a while now, currently carry a VHF radio set to Canal-E, not 100% guaranteed a signal in this part of the Hautes Alpes and a Garmin GPS 64 st stand-alone GPS as back-up to my smartphone (only back-up cos the screen's much smaller!)
Considered the Inreach Mini, but the initial outlay and ongoing Ä20/month minimum subscription put me off.....
So will most likely opt for the Ocean Signal PLB as a: it's cheaper, b: it's more powerful and c: once purchased there's no ongoing cost.
However, I can see the appeal of an Inreach, particularly if you're regularly venturing out of cell-phone coverage and have a loved one that would take an interest in following your exploits Very Happy
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Weathercam, I'm assuming in Siberia, the guide will have some kind of distress beacon, not much in the way of cellphone signal or radio coverage where you're heading!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Pretty sure you need a subscription to use the Earthmate app with the Inreach.........
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@DB, good video review far more detail than the DcRainMaker, which was still good and shorter, but I stuck with this one as it really covered some of the questions that I had, and it really does seem to tick all the boxes.

And @KenX, I'm only considering getting this so I can text you when I'm in Siberia Toofy Grin
Plus when I'm back and we're out together you can buy me a beer as your contribution to my subscription outlay that you could benefit from, though hopefully not Smile

The mapping on the Mapshare is good https://share.garmin.com/SheaOliver
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