Ski Club 2.0 Home
Snow Reports
FAQFAQ

Mail for help.Help!!

Log in to snowHeads to make it MUCH better! Registration's totally free, of course, and makes snowHeads easier to use and to understand, gives better searching, filtering etc. as well as access to 'members only' forums, discounts and deals that U don't even know exist as a 'guest' user. (btw. 50,000+ snowHeads already know all this, making snowHeads the biggest, most active community of snow-heads in the UK, so you'll be in good company)..... When you register, you get our free weekly(-ish) snow report by email. It's rather good and not made up by tourist offices (or people that love the tourist office and want to marry it either)... We don't share your email address with anyone and we never send out any of those cheesy 'message from our partners' emails either. Anyway, snowHeads really is MUCH better when you're logged in - not least because you get to post your own messages complaining about things that annoy you like perhaps this banner which, incidentally, disappears when you log in :-)
Username:-
 Password:
Remember me:
👁 durr, I forgot...
Or: Register
(to be a proper snow-head, all official-like!)

2 way radios

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
We're looking to get some 2 way radios, mostly for tree skiing, just for the "made it to the piste" "taken left gully" type messages but wouldn't mind some with enough range to be semi useful in an emergency.

We only need a pair but would probably get a quad set if the discount is worth it, would also like the option for a remote speaker mic thing so we can leave the radio in the pack.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Motorola-PMR-Handfunkger%C3%A4t-TLKR-Extreme-188082/dp/B077T793V7/ref=sr_1_10?keywords=walkie+talkie+motorola&qid=1645080985&sprefix=Walkie+Talkie+mo%2Caps%2C65&sr=8-10&tag=amz07b-21
I like the look of those, anyone using something similar?
snow report
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Might there be some "line of sight" limitations, if you end up in different gullies?
snow conditions
 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?
For European countries or North America?
latest report
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
line of site can be an issue.
If you have data plans or mountains are well covered with wifi then look at Zello & get some push to talk buttons. On android, it is possible to do one for a few quid, as you can map the PTT button to a camera activator. On IOS that was not possible when I last looked.
If you are going to be relatively close, then also worth looking at headset that motorbike instructors use.
latest report
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
pam w wrote:
Might there be some "line of sight" limitations, if you end up in different gullies?

I'm not expecting them to work in separate valleys or anything, when I wrote gulley I more meant slight slight depression, not thinking anything super gnarly. Doubt we'd be more than 200m apart most of the time, mostly just want to avoid the trying to yell at each other when slightly out of sight.

Will be using them in Europe.
snow report
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Motorola make some models branded “national Geographics” with voice activation and earpieces - They are around 170 euros for a set. Do not go for anything cheaper.. the sound quality is not worth it. Range says ten kilometers, so probably half that.
latest report
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
These by the way: https://www.amazon.co.uk/National-Geographic-FM-Walkie-Talkie/dp/B07DKGPBXP?tag=amz07b-21

Just find them as a set with Dual charger, ten km range and earpieces.
snow report
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Daishan, I bought a set of these in a Black Friday sale.

Like all BCA products they're really well thought out, just read the numerous positive reviews.

https://www.snowcountry.eu/2-x-bca-link-eu-version-communicate-with-a-friend-party-pack.html

The only issue is that we've hardly used them as we've not had the necessary conditions for them Crying or Very sad
snow report
 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 have this motorola walkie talkie and cannot recommend them. They are very limited to "line of sight", the sound quality is poor, hardly understandable. Our package included headset which was really uncomfortable inside helmets and even poorer sound quality than the walkie talkie by itself.
Me and friends where trying to use this on enduro dirt bikes in the mountains. So the usage was not the same as your are going to use it in, but not that different either.
Another friend bought cheap aliexpress walki talkie that also vhf channels. And that worked very well.
snow report
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Used PMR radios regularly in the kit cars and we've tried a few. Our environment is probably similar (but worse range/interference wise) than skiing. For the ranges you need they'll be fine IMO.

We keep coming back to Kenwood tk3301 as the best (superceded by TK3501 but not as good to program channels). They're robust and have plenty of accessories available (genuine and generic).
There are a few alternatives...
Motorola but they change their models more often than you change your ski gear.
Midland and Intek do ones that can be modified to increasepower but a)it's not legal. b) it doesn't actually help much locally, just picks up other good signals; you get Bulgarian truckers 100k away but not your mate around the corner behind a block of granite. c) Intek speaker volume is low.
Downside with the Kenwood's is they use a different frequency setup so although PMR they don't send/receive the same as other pmr's. The tk3301/3501 can be reprogrammed to standard though so as not to be an issue.

I could bring a couple to the op bashes for you to try.
snow conditions
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
I have a number of UK licenced frequencies radios we use for work, can't remember offhand if vhf or uhf, but am considering taking some to the Alps in March. No idea if this will contravene any laws over there or not - anybody with the knowledge out there?
latest report
 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.
One of the problems that I've found with these is nothing to do with the technology - it's getting people in the group to actually use them properly. Firstly, I've changed the channel from the default to one in the middle of the 9.9 range, to avoid other people on the same frequency, which can cause a lot of confusion. Second, some people seem to find it hard to adjust to the always-on nature and turn the thing off - which defeats the object, especially in an emergency. And although it may seem over the top, I've given each handset an identifier of 'foxtrot-1' to 4 as just using names can similarly be confusing (again especially if someone else materialises on the same channel). And while it may sound like overkill, we also use an over/out - again to simplify the chat. We also often leave one handset at the apartment and ask the first back to leave it on and call it 'foxtrot-base': this for situations where someone may find themselves missing the last lift from a distant part of the ski area and end up needing to be collected by car. It's also amazing how often people don't want to bother doing a practice, then on-piste, haven't got a clue about how to use it.

I've been surprised by how good the range is with the Motorola handsets we have. I thought the line-of-sight thing would be a limiting factor, but the sets have exceeded expectations. Our set came with earpieces and we found that these make them much more usable. If you think about the scenario you're using them for vs a mobile phone call/msg then it's mainly to get immediate comms without having to stop and all the faff around a mobile (if it's still charged). In that case you want it always-on and this is where the earpiece/mike works well. Your main problem is again persuading everyone to set it up in the first place and know how to use it properly. And to put the sets in the chargers as soon as they get home. Some people just can't be bothered.


Last edited by And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports. on Thu 17-02-22 10:46; edited 2 times in total
snow report
 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
Walkie Talkies on a mountain always reminds of a loud plummy Dad trying to communicate with his offspring whom were scattered over the mountain. 'Hugo, Alfie, Clemmie where are you? Over' repeatedly to zero reply. Probably enjoying a beer and a fag somewhere? Razz
ski holidays
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Mollerski says someone who has never used them.
We have the Morotolas and on many occasions (e.g when one of our group has been unaware of a cliff immediately below him) they have been a lifesaver.
Highly recommended.
snow report
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@hd, Where the heck have you been skiing?! Shocked

Where I ski, all areas of risk are fenced and padded off. Skiers dropping off of cliffs is a bit of a neg for a resort's reputation. Confused

Sorry, that story isn't credible. Any skier in such an extreme location where skiing off of an unprotected cliff were a possibility, should have the skill and experience to deal with the location. Not blindly kill themselves. Also, someone skiing into a potentially dangerous situation isn't going to stop to pull a radio out of their pocket and have a chat about it beforehand.
snow conditions
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
My experience of VHF radios is probably irrelevant because limited to use at sea, which simplifies the "line of sight" problem, though (unless you are a flat earther....) you need a decent height of aerial for long distances. But that's only relevant to fixed sets. Have also used hand held VHFs, to talk, for example, between a rescue boat and shore base. But those radios cost £100 - 130 each. Why are they so much more expensive than the sets being described here? They are, of course, "waterproof" to a degree, though in a splashy small boat we'd probably use a waterproof cover. I guess these are more robust systems requiring users to be license and pass tests etc and to transmit over long distances. (French coastguard transmissions can be picked up in the Solent, depending on atmospheric conditions). Not that I've passed a radio test for yonks - unlicensed people can use a marine VHF in an emergency, I believe.

It is, of course, essential for anyone using 2 way radios in the French Alps to know that they are "talkie-walkies" around there. wink
snow report
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Sorry typed in haste - cliff means anything involving a short but steep drop around which can be easily navigated but the rider above it may be unaware it is there, whereas mates further down can see it clearly.

I apologise if my positive experiences of using the radios in these potentially consequential situations are not helpful to this thread.

Little Angel
snow conditions
 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?
Most long range radios operate in a band where you need to have a two-way radio license to operate. Using a radio which operates outside the 446Mhz range and over about 0.5W without a license is basically illegal anywhere in the UK/EU.

The whole 'Broadsword calling Danny-Boy, come in Danny-Boy' schtick is a pipedream - it never works the way you want and you just end up yelling at each other, running out of power or eavesdropping on what Heinrich's Mútti wants for lunch, 3 valleys over while you can't hear your mate who you can actually see. Do yourself a favour, buy a box of plastic referee whistles and keep in immediate contact that way.
ski holidays
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
@pam w,

I've held my marine license since '94. Marine VHF is a mile away from walkie talkies. Fixed base sets are roughly 5 times the power of a handheld and are essential. All marine VHF users need to sit an exam to obtain a license. Local coastguard monitor VHF comms for obvious reasons. Fines can be and are issued for missuse or poor vhf procedure.


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Thu 17-02-22 15:58; edited 2 times in total
snow report
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Mollerski, Same rules apply for rally radio crews - licenses displayed with pride, they roll up on stage, unleash 12ft of whip aerial, and fire up a footwell full of wiring and a rig screwed to a chipboard plate in the Toyota Landcruiser (always a Toyota Landcruiser). Though gawd help you if you need them to get out of the car...
latest report
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Thanks for all the input, will take a look at the suggestions later.
Might take you up on that offer @adithorp, will let you know Very Happy
ski holidays
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Worth checking what band guides/instructors use just for compatability. I doubt they're licenced VHF sets. The ones I've been given on occasion have been PMR I think.
ski holidays
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Mollerski,
Quote:

We've done many fairly extreme rib passages.

I'd be very carefull broadcasting that fact. Yu don't know who's reading this forum.

We bought some small UHF radios to help with climbing in the Dolomites when I was running out 60m pitches often out of sight of my second and in windy condidtions. I think we have never used them but rely on the tradditional signals of rope tugs. We have heard other parties using whistles (not 3, 3 second blasts)
snow conditions
 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'd be very sceptical about using radios at a ski resort on public channels. You'd not be able to leave the radio on (!) unless you wanted to hear chatter all day, and I at least could not work that way. Most resorts have mobile coverage, and the BTS is likely on the top of the hill, so you'll get better coverage and less annoyance that way for less money.

I've never heard anyone use NATO codes or say "over". In my experience in Canada "Phil for Jim" is about as formal as it gets.

----
On radios...

Those Motorola jobbies look consumer oriented: low power (500mW), fixed frequencies, "unlicensed" bands only, "pretty" design.
BCA radios are obviously respectable safety gear, built for the purpose. Anyone used these in anger? I've had a few weeks with them and didn't really like them.

My own choice is BaoFeng: reliable, powerful, fully programmable, and with long term product support. Fully programmable for legal use anywhere around the world, way better than buying a bag of radios. You do need to read the manual to set them up. It's easy to operate legally, although should I need the extra power to save lives, breaking those laws would be likely. Oh, and these work simultaneously on two channels, very handy.

a wrote:
Worth checking what band guides/instructors use just for compatibility. I doubt they're licenced VHF sets. The ones I've been given on occasion have been PMR I think.
I have a BaoFeng CHIRP file with the common settings for North America plus the EU, PM me if anyone wants that. Note that it's not illegal to carry a radio programmed with frequencies / power settings which would be illegal to use, although you couldn't legally sell a radio so equipped.

Whistles (without peas) are given away by major heli operators. Actually they may lend you radios too.
I've a bucket full of whistles, maybe I should sell them for beer money.
In snow they solve a slightly different problem from radios: carry both.
ski holidays
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
When I'm not knee-deep in snow, I'm out on my motorbike touring Europe. Our group of riders starting using Cardo intercomms a few years ago, and they were an absolute game-changer.

We're currently on the Packtalk, which I'd thoroughly recommend for the Mesh technology. They're not cheap (around £320 for a pair), but probably about as good as you can get. They also do a Ski model, although I suspect it's exactly the same unit as the biker model.

https://www.cardosystems.com/support/packtalk-ski/
snow report
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
We used to use Motorola ones quite a bit when we went out in groups as we often would get slightly split up. That said over the last few years we have just resorted to using phones, not quite as easy but unless your literally hanging off a Cliff hopefully you can make a call.

Sometimes we did have issues with reception on them although once did have a mind boggling connection between us in the board park in Val D'Isere and when trying to find my brother down in La Daille ended up getting through to my cousin who was in Tignes Le Lac. I can only image the signal was bouncing round the mountains somehow.
snow report
 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.
Mollerski wrote:
@hd, Where the heck have you been skiing?! Shocked

Where I ski, all areas of risk are fenced and padded off. Skiers dropping off of cliffs is a bit of a neg for a resort's reputation. Confused

Sorry, that story isn't credible. Any skier in such an extreme location where skiing off of an unprotected cliff were a possibility, should have the skill and experience to deal with the location. Not blindly kill themselves. Also, someone skiing into a potentially dangerous situation isn't going to stop to pull a radio out of their pocket and have a chat about it beforehand.


Not that unusual to get cliffed out in North American resorts - a particularly extreme case https://unofficialnetworks.com/2021/10/29/snowboarder-left-clinging-to-a-cliff-face-whistler-blackcomb-ski-resort/ that cliff isn't roped off or particularly marked.

Having used them for backcountry skiing I've found they are a real game changer there. Sending info up to those above about snow conditions, route, potential hazards etc. is very beneficial. Not sure I would bother with them inside a resort though as for me personally they wouldn't get enough use - phone is usually sufficient for the odd occasion I need to contact someone. If someone is stuck in a tree well phone is not much use - whistle on zip and staying close together is a better low tech solution.

We could get the ski patrol channel on our radios which was quite entertaining and also informative of conditions and when certain areas were going to open, which could be beneficial.
snow report
 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
@boarder2020 +1
snow conditions
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
ooo its like snowheads in the early 2000s, anyone know where i can get some k2 bandits
latest report
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Surely the OP is talking about for use off piste from his original post. The section it's in is a clue too.
snow conditions
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
JudgeMent4l wrote:
Surely the OP is talking about for use off piste from his original post. The section it's in is a clue too.


"Mostly trees, nothing too gnarly, doubt we'd be more than 200m apart" made me think it's more like side of piste or reasonably close to lift stuff than more full on backcountry or extreme routes. I'd consider the two quite different in regards to if radios were worth it or not.
snow report
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Most of the off piste I do is probably within a few km of the piste.

While there's often mobile signal I tend to put mine in flight mode while wearing a bleep and even if I didn't I don't like the faff of taking a glove off then trying to use a touchscreen with damp fingers.

A radio with a remote speaker/mic like the BCA one linked earlier seems ideal if a little pricey.
ski holidays
 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?
Been using Motorola Walkie-talkies for quite a few years now (12yrs), Always worked when we've needed them, simple easy comms.l
There can be topographical issues, but that is the nature of out of the way / backside skiing. I do still find areas of no cellphone coverage bin Europe often.
latest report
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Some years back (probably at least 20) we bought a pair of radios from a Radio Shack store whilst touring around S.W. USA.

Stuck the batteries in them and tested them whilst staying in a Casino in Reno. I'd gone out to pick up something. Back at the hotel, as soon as Mrs G7 hit the PTT button, the fire alarm went off! I don't think it was coincidental. They were powerful little units. Great range and completely illegal in Europe.
ski holidays
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
DanishRider wrote:
Motorola make some models branded “national Geographics” with voice activation and earpieces - They are around 170 euros for a set. Do not go for anything cheaper.. the sound quality is not worth it. Range says ten kilometers, so probably half that.


I've got a set of those and they're great. You're right about not skimping on something cheap though - definitely not worth it.
snow report
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
As richard sideways says, legal in Europe are pmr446 0.5 limited transceiver radios.

We have four different models of Motorola pnr446 radios, and the various models perform very differently / some are far superior, we think to do with antennae design and filter circuitry.

Top of the heap are xtn446:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/XTN446-Two-Way-Radio-PMR446/dp/B0001VJ9HI?tag=amz07b-21

Which have excellent battery life and seem to work over undulating terrain far more effectively than others. They also have good accessories such as lapel mikes, which allow the radio to be kept in an inner pocket, improving battery performance

I do have some of these for sale since we have a surplus, since they were great when mountaineering and so we had lots of sets
snow report
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
And don’t use an unlimited radio - they mess with rescue helicopters and emergency services
snow report
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Use this Motorola TALKABOUT in multi-pitch climbing. The distance is usually not more than 50 meters, more or less in line of sight. Electrosmog is virtually non-existent in nature.
I bought the equipment so as not to have to shout any rope commands in the wind all the time hanging in the rock wall.
Unfortunately, about 30% of the radio messages do not arrive or the first words arrive swallowed. That's not what I thought. so. Now I am looking forward to any better option and reading reviews
For a job like in my field - where clear communication is not particularly important - I would go for the better option
snow conditions
 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.
Quote:


Worth checking what band guides/instructors use just for compatability. I doubt they're licenced VHF sets. The ones I've been given on occasion have been PMR I think.


Guides/instructors very much use licensed sets. You're not going to be able to buy an off the shelf, ready to go radio which will be compatible.
snow conditions
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Sign up for evening classes, and pass the Radio Amateur exam.
There is a whole world of Geekism to explore out there .. would suite a whole lot of us SnowHeads.

Da dee Da!
snow report



Terms and conditions  Privacy Policy