Matchstick Productions is teasing the world with a new trailer. “In Deep” is said to feature an epic Shane McConkey tribute segment. I’d imagine that will deliver, but be truly sad at the same time. Like watching the slideshow or vid at a memorial service. More and good, it looks like they’re going to continue mixing it up on this one, with talking athletes and other such ingredients.
I got stoked watching the trailer, but also kept thinking I’d seen some of the footage somewhere before. Whatever, come September it is certain I’ll be cheering and shouting along with the rest of the audience. After all, like the guy says in the trailer, “skiing is fun.” And so is watching ski movies.
A ranger on Mount Rainier apparently skied into a crevasse yesterday. He lived. Must have been a close call. It’s common to ski down glaciers unroped, as doing it while corded is like herding a bunch of wild monkeys. Problem is, crevasses don’t care if you have a rope on or not, and some are big, with overhanging edges or snowbridges that skis don’t bridge. On the Denali Muldrow Glacier route many years ago, we NEVER went ropeless. That made for some comical skiing, but… One has to wonder, if you climb a glacier and deem it necessary to use ropes on the way up, how wise is it to coil the cord and ski back down totally unroped? One of those mountaineering discussions that burns up the tent roof?
ARVA is coming out with a new avy beacon. Named the Link, the new beeper conforms to the Mammut’s information transfer system — the same tech that allows the Mammut Pulse to figure out if an avy victim is alive or “dead” by sensing micro movements while they’re buried, via a separate radio channel devoted to information transfer between beacons.
We’re of the opinion that using this technology for the live-or-dead indication, while interesting, is a disappointing departure from other things more relevant to getting a search done quickly enough to save lives (after all, even if the Pulse beacon says someone is not breathing or beating, they could be buried close enough to the surface for quick extrication and successful CPR revival).
For example, it’s becoming obvious (if it wasn’t already), that one of the worst potential snafus in beacon searching is when you get false signals from transmitting beacons worn by rescuers or spectators. This problem can be dealt with by expert use of digital beacons that identify and separate signals (as in a multiple burial), but it can definitely be confusing or even result in a false search pattern — all adding deadly time overhead to your search. What is more, if any beacons in your group have an automatic revert-to-transmit feature, you can get everyone in your searching group switched to receive, then after your’e involved in the search, bip bip, your companion’s beacons start reverting to transmit and confuse things enough to significantly delay the rescue. In other words, the very technology intended to save someone’s life could result in someone’s death. That’s just wrong.
As Jonathan said in his Barryvox review, regarding beacons communicating with one another: “What’s not included is an electronic alarm that rings when a group is traveling too close together…” I’d add that if beacons are going to talk together beyond simply transmitting/receiving the actual location pulse, another essential feature would be some way to totally eliminate problems with false positives from beacons reverting to transmit, as well as prevent confusion caused by rogue signals from spectators and others near the rescue scene. Let’s hope ARVA gets beyond the sexy but relatively useless “pulse” feature, and does something truly effective with this amazing tech.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.