[EDGE]ucation: Season 1

September 30, 2022

Watch season 1 of [EDGE]ucation, featuring BCA co-founder Bruce Edgerly. He touches on everything from everyday backcountry hacks, to gear tips, and how to stay prepared.

How to put your skins ON without taking your skis off

You're probably familiar with the challenge of removing your skins without taking your skis off... But have you tried putting your skins ON without taking your skis off? [EDGE]ucation sensei Bruce Edgerly demonstrates his favorite party trick (for experts and yoga instructors only!) in this season's final installment.

Gaper Bag

Become everyone's favorite touring partner by following BCA Co-Founder Bruce Edgerly's advice to keep a "gaper bag" in your car. What happens when a member of your group shows up to a trailhead check and realizes their transceiver is low on battery, or they forgot their gloves? Save the tour by keeping a bag full of frequently forgotten essentials on hand to loan out to backcountry partners—like batteries, gloves, skins, ski straps, radios, and even an extra transceiver.

Do I Really Need to Dig Snowpits?

How often do you really need to dig snow pits? As a recreational backcountry user, the answer is... Not often. BCA Co-Founder Bruce Edgerly's strategy? Leave the digging to the avalanche forecasters. Bruce recommends reading the avalanche forecast in the morning, and digging hasty pits and hand shears tests to verify what he saw in the avalanche bulletin.

Digging snow pits a few times throughout the season is a great way to identify and track weak layers over time. On a regular basis, however, there is so much variability in the snowpack that no one snow pit should be used as a green light to travel on a particular line.

Trailhead Checks

Heading out into the backcountry? Did you complete your trailhead check? Doing a trailhead check AT THE TRAILHEAD (rather than a mile or two down the road) is an essential first step to a backcountry outing. Take it from BCA-Co Founder Bruce Edgerly, who has been backcountry skiing for nearly 40 years.

Edge suggests making sure everyone in your group has a transceiver on, they are all transmitting and with sufficient battery power, radios are on and on the right channel, and airbag triggers are out. Plus, make sure everyone is on the same page about your game plan for the day. Completing this check-in at the trailhead ensures your group is in a position to quickly recover a forgotten transceiver or an extra set of batteries if needed.

Turn the Beacons Off in Multiple Burials

Don't be overwhelmed by the multiple burials functions on your transceivers. Rather, keep it simple. In most cases of a multiple burial scenario, start by digging out the victim until you can get to their airway, make sure they are breathing, and TURN OFF their transceiver. Your transceiver in search mode will then take you to the next signal. Remember: your transceiver will always bring you to the closest signal. Use your last-seen points to begin, and narrow the search from there.

Avoid Rogue Signals in an Avalanche Rescue

Rogue signals can be majorly disruptive to avalanche rescues. Rogue signals occur when someone on the surface is in transmit mode by mistake, disrupting the search signal and burning valuable time by “searching” for them instead of for someone who is actually under the surface. Before beginning a search, it is critical to ensure everyone is in search mode. In this video, BCA co-founder Bruce Edgerly recommends that you even assign an extra person to go around and confirm each individual searcher is NOT transmitting.

Does my cell phone affect my avalanche transceiver?

When your beacon is in transmit mode, there are no tangible effects of a cell phone on a transceiver search, even if they are very close together. In search mode, you can experience loss of receive range and even false readings if your cell phone is within a few inches (or several centimeters) of your searching transceiver.

The bottom line? Follow the “20/50” rule. Store any electronic devices at least 20 cm (8 inches—or one “hand width”—away from your transmitting beacon. In search mode, keep your searching beacon 50 cm (20 inches) away from electronic devices. This is one arm’s length, which is good search technique anyway!

Does my cell phone affect my avalanche transceiver?

Your shovel might seem like one of the most straightforward tools in your avalanche rescue kit, but did you know there is more than one way to use it? Pro tip: use shovel mode for chopping hard snow like avalanche debris, and hoe mode for moving soft snow. And before you need to use your shovel in a rescue scenario... Practice! Fast and safe shoveling technique can save someone's life, literally.

Dressing for Success

You know the phrase, "be bold, start cold"? Well, BCA co-founder Bruce Edgerly says, "to heck with that!" Learn why Edge refutes this guidance toward dressing for success—starting warm might just help your group be better prepared for the tour plan, and ensure trailhead beacon checks are done properly. Next time you go out, feel free to be bold and start comfortable!

Side Stash Pocket - Keep Your Pack On!

The Side Stash pocket is here to make your life easier, and to make that seamless transition without taking your pack off that much more attainable. Use the Side Stash pocket to change out gear or hydrate on the fly, and avoid taking off your airbag while you are out in the field with easy access to skin track essentials. Edge shows us how he uses his Side Stash pocket to transition faster than anyone else, so he can get drop in first... Every time.

When should I retire my transceiver?

Is it time to retire your old transceiver and get a new one? Find out in this week's [EDGE]ucation. If your transceiver is more than 5 years old, make sure you replace it with a digital, three-antenna transceiver. Having the right technology is essential when it comes to transceivers— this is life-saving equipment, after all.

Hacks for Easy Transitions

When you're on the skintrack, a faster transition means more laps, more snacks, and more time to hang out while your friends fumble around with their stuff. In this video, BCA Co-Founder Bruce Edgerly reveals his method for a lightning-fast transition—without ever taking his backpack off.

How to Deploy a Probe

During an avalanche rescue, the last thing you want to do is fumble around with your gear. When every second counts, it is imperative to be able to use your rescue tools smoothly and efficiently. How comfortable are you with deploying your probe? In this video, BCA Co-Founder Bruce Edgerly demonstrates tips and tricks for rapid probe assembly in the field.


What do you do before heading out for a day of backcountry? BCA Co-Founder, Bruce Edgerly, walks us through his morning routine before a day of backcountry riding. Have you ever forgotten your beacon at home? Ever gotten to the trailhead and realized that you didn't check the forecast? It might be time to another look at your morning routine.

Pro tip: Bruce re-checks the avalance forecast each morning before he heads out, plus every day for weeks out leading up to a ski trip. "You wouldn't start a book halfway through, you want to see the whole story."