Avalanche equipment - probes
Do not forget the probe!
This time we would like to introduce the last but not least part of the avalanche equipment. Probe. So check this article to be sure that you have got the right one in your bag. Tom Novaček is a part our powderline crew and he hs got a loong experience with avalanche equipment. Check this out!!!
After an article about avalanche transceivers and shovels comes PWL with an article about last important component of avalanche gear: the probe. Many of you are wondering why some stick is an important tool. The answer can be found below.
When transceiver marks the place where your friend is, it’s not 100% accurate location. You don’t know the exact depth and location, signal could be easily spread in the field of 2x2 meters. And here starts the function of probe, which determine in which location and depth the victim is. And you exactly know where to dig. The probe saves precious minutes.
Probes can be divided according of used material, length of it, etc. Most commonly used are aluminum then carbon and steel. An important part of probe is the connecting cable, which holds the various parts together. Again, the implementation depends on the manufacturers, most commonly is a synthetic rope, and infrequently steel wire. The locking mechanism is functional and fast for all manufacturers, but it is very useful to know how it works already at home, not in the field.
During your selection watch out for connection of the probe, since some manufacturers use only the cylindrical section without the cone attack, so the selected item together takes a little longer. Length is a matter of opinion, but I advocate typically men approach: “the longer is the better". However, the ideal length for a retail use is 220-280 cm in this range and most of the market.
A special probe is iProbe by PIEPS company. This allows accurate tracing of all transceivers with 457kHz frequency by built-in receiver and acoustic signal broadcast. In short, you know how far from the probe tip is buried transceiver under an avalanche. iProbe cooperate with PIEPS transceivers DSP and Freeride during searching. You can switch off the signal from buried transceiver to your DSP (Freeride) by pressing button on the iProbe.
The best-known manufacturers are Ortovox, PIEPS, BCA, Arva, from the Czech: Rock Empire or Jurek. Prices starts around 900CZK (Jurek, 265 cm) and ends around 3100CZK (PIEPS iProbe, 260 cm). Excellent price / performance ratio has Arva PRO 280cm with price around 1400CZK. The ARVA stuff you can buy in www.skialpshop.cz