June 17, 2018
Who would have ever thought that, in the era of smartphones, two-way radios would make a comeback? Learn what’s changing from BCA Electronics Category Director Toni Leskela.
The common use of two-way radio channels enables people not only to communicate clearly with those in their group but also to coordinate with other backcountry groups to make sure they’re not endangering each other. Heli guide and former avalanche forecaster Matt Steen described the use of common radio channels in the Telluride “sidecountry” at the 2017 Colorado Snow and Avalanche Workshop (CSAW).
Three backcountry skiers effectively used their two-way radios last month to instantly communicate the moment an avalanche triggered and began to slide. It’s a good example of the isolated danger of triggering persistent slab avalanches. And a great example of safe backcountry travel protocols.
If it were my choice, I would be using my BCA MtnPro gear year round after a two-week summer break. I would be off to the southern hemisphere to enjoy winter sledding in the Andes. In reality, that’s not quite happening yet. I do use the following BCA gear in the summer and fall: BC Link radios, Stash packs, MtnPro protective vest and MtnPro shin guards. Here’s where I use them.
On Sunday January 29, 2017, Dustin Opheim was caught in an avalanche near Berthoud Pass on the southeast aspect of Russell. The incident was reported to CAIC. Dustin recounts his avalanche rescue experience in which he deployed BCA Float avalanche airbag and communicated to his group via his BC Link radios.