Having a beacon increases safety on your mountain adventure
From skiing to mountaineering in the Alps: if you're out in areas prone to avalanches, then you need to have a beacon with you. Beacons are used to precisely locate avalanche victims, and they can save someone’s life. In addition to an avalanche probe, an avalanche shovel and an avalanche backpack, you've got to have a beacon with you, as it can help save a life!
How do beacons work?
Avalanche beacons are worn directly on the body, as this ensures you have it with you in the event of an emergency.
Beacons have a transmit mode and a receive mode. In transmit mode, the beacon sends out a signal at regular intervals. This signal is set to a frequency of 457 KHZ in accordance with ETS 300718, which can be easily located by every avalanche beacon.
Activating the search mode is quick and easy and enables the beacon to identify a victim’s precise positioning. Passive systems, such as RECCO reflectors, are a great addition to beacons. The greatest advantage of these reflectors is that they’re already integrated into some functional clothing. However, they cannot be detected by beacons, but only by professional mountain rescue teams.
Features of a high-quality beacon
During an avalanche, every second counts. After just a few minutes of being buried, the victim's chances of survival are drastically reduced. So, you should have a beacon that you can rely on. However, there’s no need to worry because modern beacons are fully equipped for carrying out a successful avalanche rescue.
You should never underestimate the dangers of an avalanche and should always carry an avalanche beacon whenever you’re in an area prone to avalanches. In an emergency, it can mean the difference between life and death.
Reliable, easy to use, precise: avalanche beacons
As already mentioned, quick action is required in the event of an avalanche, which is why a beacon should be user-friendly.
In addition, the beacon should also have a high transmission and receiving range. Depending on the device, the range is normally between 20 and 40 meters. The range shouldn’t be any lower than this, otherwise locating the victim will become unnecessarily difficult.
Another important factor to consider is that the avalanche beacon should be small, lightweight and handy. Since you’ll be travelling with the beacon, it shouldn’t be unnecessarily bulky and heavy. Plus, having a compact system is also considerably easier to use.
In addition, modern beacons consume very little energy. As a result, they have a very long battery life. Nevertheless, you should always check the status of the battery status before going on tour. This ensures you’re well-prepared for all eventualities.