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Thread: Avalanche Beacons in Delta Junction

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    Member COtoAK's Avatar
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    Default Avalanche Beacons in Delta Junction

    Anyone know where to find av beacons in Delta Junction?
    Is there a place to rent one?
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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by COtoAK View Post
    Anyone know where to find av beacons in Delta Junction?
    Is there a place to rent one?
    Don't know of any place in town that carries av beacons. MWR on Greely might have some to rent but I kinda doubt it. Beaver Sports in Fbx is the closest place I can think of that would definately have them available.

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    I don't know about delta but compeaus and northern power sports and beaver sports has them here in fairbanks try a snow machine dealer down there they usually have them

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    Try Granite View Sports and also the Snowmachine dealers.

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    Avalanche becons will do no good, unless you know how to use them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by squab View Post
    Avalanche becons will do no good, unless you know how to use them.
    Yup, you really want to make sure YOUR BUDDY knows how to use his and has a probe pole and a good shovel!! It means going out in the snow somewhere, having someone bury a beacon in a pack and then others try to find it, break out the probe poles and dig it out. This can be an eye opener.

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    So... are you guys trying to tell me that I should never solo climb somewhere with a beacon?
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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    Don't know of any place in town that carries av beacons. MWR on Greely might have some to rent but I kinda doubt it. Beaver Sports in Fbx is the closest place I can think of that would definately have them available.
    Really? MWR might have one?
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    Quote Originally Posted by COtoAK View Post
    Really? MWR might have one?
    They rent a surprising amount and variety of stuff- if anyone in Delta would have a rental beacon, it would be them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by COtoAK View Post
    So... are you guys trying to tell me that I should never solo climb somewhere with a beacon?
    You can take one, but if your solo it wont matter. Perhaps you have a ground crew watching your every move? a becon requires a partner or two that also have becons and understand the correct use of pattern searching. Your ground crew would have to immediatly respond. You will have minutes if your lucky. The really lucky folks i know are the ones that self rescue.
    Take a good look at some of the snowmobilers in Turnagan, with becons. some of them still have to wait for the thaw to be picked out of the drift.

    Have fun, stay out of areas that could slide. Sounds like a couple of classes could be in order for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by COtoAK View Post
    So... are you guys trying to tell me that I should never solo climb somewhere with a beacon?
    I'm trying to figure out if you are being funny here or if this is a legitimate question..... Do you have any avalanche training?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snyd View Post
    I'm trying to figure out if you are being funny here or if this is a legitimate question..... Do you have any avalanche training?
    Firsthand, no.
    Not unless what I learned when I glissaded down Mt. Democrat would be considered firsthand avalanche training.

    This really is a legitimate question. If I were to solo climb out of Delta Junction, I was just wondering if there was somewhere that I could rent a beacon, but your recommendation says that I should have a partner with me?
    Maybe *you* were being sarcastic?
    I don't know?
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    First of, for the most part the area around Delta is pretty Tame, unless your headed some ways off the road.
    and Mr Snyd, is NOT being sarcastic. Rent a becon, go ahead...if you climb solo, and you get in a slide, they will find you after the thaw with a raven or 6 sitting on you. Trust me. The ravens are what we look for.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    What they're getting at (I assume) is that a beacon will do you no good if you are out on a solo trip. Once in a while when I'm skiing solo I will wear a beacon if I know I'll be in an area where there are likely to be other skiers or where I might be spotted from the road/nearby houses. South Fork Eagle River is such an area. I still ski way more conservative lines and certainly don't expect a beacon to be of much help if the worst were to happen, but it doesn't hurt to have it on. Otherwise, though, a beacon when traveling solo is basically useless. It's not that you shouldn't do things solo, but avalanche training, weather and snow observations, and wise route selection are going to be of help - a beacon will not.

    If you're planning to do significant backcountry climbing in the winter, give serious consideration to buying a beacon along with a friend/spouse. Get at least some basic training, do a bunch of practice beacon searches, carry a shovel and a probe, and enjoy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by COtoAK View Post
    Firsthand, no.
    Not unless what I learned when I glissaded down Mt. Democrat would be considered firsthand avalanche training.

    This really is a legitimate question. If I were to solo climb out of Delta Junction, I was just wondering if there was somewhere that I could rent a beacon, but your recommendation says that I should have a partner with me?
    Maybe *you* were being sarcastic?
    I don't know?
    Ok, now it makes sense. No, I'm not being sarcastic. Here's a quick run down on how it works.

    Avalanche beacons need to be used in pairs at a minimum. I takes one to find one. If you are skiing with a partner or a group, everyone wears a beacon, it is turned on all the time and is in "transmit" mode while you are skiing. If you get caught in an avalanche, the others in your party who were not caught, turn their beacons to "receive/find" mode. This where training kicks in. If they don't know how to use THIER beacons to find you, yours doesn't do you any good! Plus, if they don't have shovels they probably can't dig you out! They begin a search based on things like the terrain, the slide path, debris, where you were last seen, etc. They use their beacons to hone in on your signal, when they figure they have found it then they pull out probe poles and shovels and probe and/or dig like mad to pull you out. General rule of thumb is from the time of the avvy you've got about 20-30 minutes max depending. By the time the helicopter shows up with the dogs they are in recovery mode.

    Don't go it alone. Get some avalanche training. Avalanches are caused by the skiers/snowmachiners, etc. who get caught in them. Prevention/education is the best thing you can do. We (Fairbanks Ski Patrol) may be doing an Avalanche 1 class this year, if we have enough room, sometimes we can open it up to the public. I'll let you know if we do and what the cost would be.

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    Okay... I am understanding this just a little bit better.
    I assumed that Av Beacons could be used when you did NOT have a partner.
    It all makes sense to me now.

    ...so maybe it would be best for me to be
    1. fully educated on avalanches and
    2. for me to use something like a spot device instead.

    I am just wondering if I am in remote country and I am out there solo on my own and become stuck in an avalanche, what would be my next move?

    Snyd,
    I'd be interested if the course that's offered is offered to the public.
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    Quote Originally Posted by COtoAK View Post
    ...so maybe it would be best for me to be
    1. fully educated on avalanches and
    2. for me to use something like a spot device instead.

    I am just wondering if I am in remote country and I am out there solo on my own and become stuck in an avalanche, what would be my next move?.
    +1 on avalanche education, +1 on packing a spot- particularly in tracking mode so at least SAR has a good idea where to start looking after someone calls them in...kind of a "last known location" thing.

    SPOT would be very helpful if you're only partially submerged or injured but not submerged.

    If your totally buried in a slide I don't know if a SPOT would get a signal out and its very unlikely SAR would arrive in time to be of much help anyway. You've got about 20 minutes or so once you're submerged, maybe a bit longer or a bit less depending on your other injuries.

    Just curious...what's wrong with a partner for these trips? Solo on this kind of thing sounds really sketchy.

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    Nothing wrong with having a partner, but sometimes... well... for me... most times it's good for me to get out on my own. I see and talk to enough people in a day to last me a lifetime.

    My usual partner would be my husband, but being outdoors is a time for me to be alone and think. It's always been that way for me. I used to solo so much in Colorado that I just want to return to that.

    The reason why I am thinking about Delta is because the mountains there are far more accessible than anything that's really local in Fairbanks or North Pole.

    Not many people can relate to my analogy that Fairbanks, Alaska is like another Limon, Colorado. Close enough to the mountains to appreciate seeing them, but not close enough to be in them and experience them firsthand.

    Now that I am going to be taking regular trips to Delta, it's going to be good for me to look into this and use the time out there not just to do business, but to, by all means, absolutely have outdoor fun and experience. I won't be able to have a climbing or snowshoeing partner from the Interior unless they are able to commute with me sometime mid-week to Delta. I suppose that this would mean I'd have to find a climbing/shoeing partner that I could trust from the Delta area. I'd consider it, but it almost defeats my purpose for being in the outdoors. I want to max out my will, skill, and ability. I want to push myself and not be pushed or be expected to hike, shoe, or climb on another person's time schedule.

    Maybe I am just done with this cabin fever.
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    I understand you on the partner thing...sometimes being solo is what you need to do, despite good sense to do otherwise.

    I totally get the Fairbanks analogy- better watch out if you're regularly in Delta on business. This place will grow on you.

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