Castle Dave

Getting on the lift
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You may be right. Bigger could be better. It was like a cave down those holes.
 

oldschoolskier

Making fresh tracks
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Ontario Canada
Lots of place where I skied have very spotty and/or no cell service. Lots of places I find myself driving through in the winter have very spotty and/or no cell service. I remember several years ago when I was driving from Sun Valley to Mammoth via US 6. I came upon couple of huge signs on US 6 somewhere in Nevada. “No Gas, No Service, No Nothing for The Next 169 Miles.” In that 169 miles, we didn’t see a single car in front or in back of us travelling in the same direction. We did see two (02) cars going the opposite direction. Now, I know why the big headed aliens like to hang out there.

Most people I know take full cell coverage for granted. I often tutor my nephews and nieces on methods of self-reliance when cell services are disrupted and/or not present. I call them back up procedures. I have AAA but I also know how to change a flat tire. Have to tell you, AAA saved my bacon quite a few times already. Not a prepper by any measure but know enough to stay alive when the sh** hits the fan. My motto is “Whatever gets the job done, but let’s try the easiest way first.”

Beacons, whistle, cell phone, smart watches, two-way radios, satellite phones/messenger, personal locator beacon, GPS enable devices and whatnot, they all have the places in our lives. Like any tools, they all have limitation. Know what they are and always have a plan B. Sometimes having plan C, D… in place helps me sleep at night.



Like @jmeb , I am a bit skeptical of the up link capability of the watch. Sound like it is more cellular rather than satellite based.
I have a feeling that this new feature plays on the share my location (find my phone) functions. Yes this requires a data connection of some sort. The watch is the activator (unless cellular equipped) the phone is the data transmission tool, not data cell connection no work.

Personal I would use use the man down on radios instead as it works at close immediate range before anyone realize you are in trouble. It also allows to cancel false alarms, with a simple radio check.

Key here is it allows quick verifiable response and as @KingGrump stated is only part of a bigger safety strategy vs it being the only one.

Ultimately, a multi-part safety plan is the key! regardless of the methods used.
 

Monique

bounceswoosh
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Too bad. If this was Sat based and could be an SOS device for remote locations it'd be huge with adventure sports crowd
I wonder what form factor would be required for a satellite watch.
 

dbostedo

Asst. Gathermeister-- Aspen 2021
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mdf

entering the Big Couloir
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Last year a group of us enabled the google maps "share my location" feature with each other to facilitate meeting for lunch and switching groups and apres and such. But seeing where the track disappears (when snow blocks the signal) might actually be useful. Provided it occurred to anyone in time.

And then there is the false positve problem when someone's battery goes dead.... Hmmm.
 

Fishbowl

A Parallel Universe
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Lost
CCTV is turning up everywhere, keeping an eye on everything we do. Both Beijing and London now have close to half a million cameras each, making them the most surveyed cities in the world. Of course it's not just the footage that is useful, but the real time diagnostics that can remotely alert to many "identifiable " events. It's not beyond possibility in the near future a ski resort could have more extensive coverage programmed to identify emergency events such as collisions and tree wells, or even snowboarders throwing skiers off lifts.Most resorts already have CCTV at their bases, so it could be sooner rather than later.
 

dbostedo

Asst. Gathermeister-- Aspen 2021
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CCTV is turning up everywhere, keeping an eye on everything we do. Both Beijing and London now have close to half a million cameras each, making them the most surveyed cities in the world. Of course it's not just the footage that is useful, but the real time diagnostics that can remotely alert to many "identifiable " events. It's not beyond possibility in the near future a ski resort could have more extensive coverage programmed to identify emergency events such as collisions and tree wells, or even snowboarders throwing skiers off lifts.Most resorts already have CCTV at their bases, so it could be sooner rather than later.
You could certainly cover typical groomed runs, but I think covering treed areas would be exceedingly difficult.
 

Castle Dave

Getting on the lift
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Apr 24, 2017
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The technologies being discussed are like the RECCO system. Excellent for body recovery, not so good for rescue. If you are air compromised such as upside down and panicked, you only have only a very few minutes before loosing consciousness.
 

Monique

bounceswoosh
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They already exist. The ones I know of are from Breitling : https://www.breitling.com/us-en/emergency/ (and being Breitling's they are expensive).

I don't know that any others exist yet. Here's some more on the watch and getting it approved for use in the US : https://www.forbes.com/sites/arieladams/2015/07/06/fcc-red-tape-life-saving-breitling-emergency-ii-watch-arrives-us/#1f508d773b78

Expensive seems like an understatement. Also, I think any of those would take up half my forearm!
 

Missile Bandits

At the base lodge
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I had no idea of the seriousness of this issue. I must apologies for making light of it in my previous post. I thought the sliding down the icy slopes into the woods was always the most dangerous situation.
May I ask? Why do folks go in head first? Why is it a "bad idea" to stop? I would think stopping if you can't see would be the thing to do.
 

KingGrump

Most Interesting Man In The World
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I had no idea of the seriousness of this issue. I must apologies for making light of it in my previous post. I thought the sliding down the icy slopes into the woods was always the most dangerous situation.
May I ask? Why do folks go in head first? Why is it a "bad idea" to stop? I would think stopping if you can't see would be the thing to do.
There can be more than one thing that will kill you on a ski slope. I know, I am the good new bear.
Yeah, going off the side of a blue trail like an unguided scud going at mach schnell is not good for your health. Definitely rates right up there.

Skiers like powder. Fat skis allows everyone to surf the stuff. Most inbound resort powder get shredded up within the hour of opening. So to find powder most skis trees where majority of the skiers won't go. .

Some of the reason skiers not stopping.
Powder skiing is about flow. Start and stop kills flow.
Powder skiing requires really good technique or speed to keep from sinking in.
Some skis faster than they should.
Some skiers just get carry away.
Those just came off the top of my head, I am sure there are many more.
 

cantunamunch

Meh
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I had no idea of the seriousness of this issue. I must apologies for making light of it in my previous post. I thought the sliding down the icy slopes into the woods was always the most dangerous situation.
May I ask? Why do folks go in head first?
Anything that slows the ski down relative to the upper body will tend to throw the upper body forward. Small branches, small saplings, or a pit in the snow, can all act to catch the ski and jerk it backwards relative to skier speed. Diving forward rapidly becomes diving down, just like in a swimming pool.

Why is it a "bad idea" to stop? I would think stopping if you can't see would be the thing to do.
Because braking requires the snow to absorb the skier's kinetic energy. Stopping requires the snow to absorb all the skier's kinetic energy. If one is on the edge of a tree well or on a bridge between adjacent wells, the snow simply isn't sturdy enough to absorb much of anything. Braking and stopping is like stomping on thin ice.


In tight trees, that is exactly what one is skiing: narrow bridges and causeways between wells. And don't forget not all trees are the same height; there are voids under your feet around the completely buried saplings.

Look, you've seen powder skiing on video, where the skier's slough moves downhill behind them? Braking means you are *in* the slough, you can't leave it. And the chances of that slough finding an open line between trees when you couldn't spot one - are basically zero.
 
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Sibhusky

Whitefish, MT
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For the newcomers. The thing you might not realize is that many tree wells are invisible. There will be this less compacted snow ringing the tree and the surface of the snow can be blown over so that it looks like the same depth of snow everywhere. Depending on the tree's shape, tree density, crowd density, and I'm sure a host of other factors, the well can extend between three feet and six feet (more?) from the tree's base. So you're skiing along, trying to split the difference between each tree to maximize the likelihood of staying on firm snow and wham! one leg is diving down a well, the other is three feet higher up and you're falling face first, probably putting your arms out to break your fall, and they are postholing into the snow before the rest of your body arrives. Now your arms are pinned, etc. Your buddy is probably busy dodging his own trees, doesn't see you fall. He stops, looks around, and now what? IF YOU'RE DAMNED LUCKY, he sees you. He now has to get to you. How far do you want him to be? Because if he's not behind you, then he's going to be trying to go uphill, maybe with skis, or maybe he decides to take them off! Now he's crotch deep. How long can you hold your breath?

Sure sometimes it happens that it is not your head in the snow. And then you can tell everyone about it later.
 

skix

Out on the slopes
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...
I'd never heard of tree well danger until a few years ago. I dug up the following vids to show my daughters. Plenty more out there. They certainly changed the way I perceived the danger.

Over-terrained boy slides in and rescued by father:


Another inversion rescue:


Snowboarder ventures too close and falls in tree well:

 

cantunamunch

Meh
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Last year a group of us enabled the google maps "share my location" feature with each other to facilitate meeting for lunch and switching groups and apres and such. But seeing where the track disappears (when snow blocks the signal) might actually be useful. Provided it occurred to anyone in time.

And then there is the false positve problem when someone's battery goes dead.... Hmmm.
Was that the same feature where google had a bunch of people on a ferry when they were taking a ski lift at Whistler? :roflmao:

View attachment 22020 I don't remember the ferry?
 
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cantunamunch

Meh
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But seeing where the track disappears (when snow blocks the signal) might actually be useful. Provided it occurred to anyone in time.

And then there is the false positve problem when someone's battery goes dead.... Hmmm.
For visualisation purposes, here is what a tree -collision- with a blown ACL and a strong helmet-cracking tree hit look like on a map. No tree well. He got (massively) lucky because Ms. tuna saw him hit. That straight line after the kink is us carrying him.



Those of you who know the details of the story know that Ms. tuna also put herself in danger trying to get to him, to the point of hitting a tree herself and smashing her goggles.
 

cantunamunch

Meh
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I'm not clear what the picture is supposed to show me? It didn't seem to end anywhere.
That's exactly the point - map pictures don't tell us squat. No rescuer would have sent anyone out based on that GPS track, not until days afterwards. The blue line would have ended at the kink if Ms. tuna hadn't seen him and we hadn't carried him out.

And that was mid-day, at very busy Blackcomb, during the Gathering - within hawking distance of the lift as you can see from the straight blue lines.
 
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NE1

Putting on skis
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Re: GPS as a survival tool: dense conifer cover (your most likely environment at the bottom of a treewell) prohibits signal reception on my Rino most of the time; I have to hike to a clearing to regain reception. This, paired with infrequent-to-nonexistant cell service means one is highly dependent on others to be alert and reactive.
 
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