Saved by a Tracker Avalanche Beacon in Bariloche, Argentina

Here’s a guest blog from Randall Stacy, written when an 18-year-old sponsored snowboarder from Vermont. He was rescued with a Tracker DTS avalanche transceiver two years ago this time of year at Cerro Cathedral, Argentina. These are the kinds of e-mails that make our jobs at BCA extremely rewarding.

Hi, my name is Randall Stacy. Tomorrow will be exactly two years from the day that I was caught in an avalanche and a BCA Tracker beacon saved my life. I was a 16-year-old kid who knew very little about powder and backcountry snowboarding. I was very ignorant and didn’t understand the full power and danger that avalanches posed. The avalanche I was caught in still remains the largest one I have ever seen. It was 60 to 70 meters wide and had a crown that varied anywhere from 10 inches to 3 feet. This experience changed my life.

I was buried for 8 minutes and was dug up by friends whom I consider family today. Since then, I have developed a new respect for backcountry skiing and snowboarding and also for the guides who know more than anyone. Last year I decided I wanted to learn as much as possible about the backcountry and I am well on my way to that. My goal is to eventually become a guide so that I will have the ability to protect people like my former self who have no knowledge of the backcountry and the danger of avalanches.

Right now I’m interning at South America Snow Sessions in Argentina with two of my guide friends from Silverton Mountain, Colo. While I may not have an avalanche 1 or 2 certification, I have learned more from just riding with these guys than I could anywhere else. However, I’m taking my avalanche 1 cert. next week. I feel more than comfortable using my beacon and I would trust myself to save someone’s life if they were fully buried. However, I never cease to practice.

My backcountry kit consists of all BCA gear. It is top quality gear and I use it every day. Anyway, I wanted to thank you for both saving my life and giving me inspiration.

 

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  • Randall loves building kickers, but his ultimate goal is to become a guide. It’s amazing how fast you grow up once you’ve survived an avalanche. You’re an inspiration to us too, Randall!