Common Transceiver Search Errors

Avalanches > Search and Rescue > Searching for Avalanche Victims > Common Transceiver Search Errors

  1. Wear the avalanche transceiver as close as possible to your body. A transceiver worn just below your waterproof layer will be exposed if you take this layer off when climbing and could then be torn off by the force of the avalanche. In addition, your body heat will keep the transceiver and batteries warm aiding battery life.
  2. The rule is Transceiver, Probe, Shovel. With a transceiver you may find the buried person in 5 minutes but take 45 minutes to dig them out by hand, time for the victim to suffocate or die of hypothermia. Accidents of this nature occur each and every year.
  3. Remove and dispose of batteries at the end of the season. Use new batteries at the start of the season and change frequently. Make sure the battery model is not loose in your beacon.
  4. Train at the start of and several times during the season, you can practise in your local park or even in the back garden. The stress of an avalanche is not the time to get the instruction book out! Your search should be a reflex action.
  5. Leaving your transceiver in your rucksack will result in only your rucksack being saved by the rescue services.
  6. Probing at right angles on a steep slope reduces the depth of snow to be dug (hypotenuse rule).
  7. Remember that the transceiver is a search and rescue device, it doesn't enable you to go off-piste in poor conditions.
  8. Beginners often search with analogue beacons at too high a volume. The volume should be reduced systematically to reduce the search area.
  9. If you are not in Europe make sure that the local frequency is the same as that in use, 457 KHz (this is extemely rare nowadays).
  10. Remember an avalanche transceiver is the only device that permits a group to perform their own search and rescue operation in the minimum amount of time.

<< Localization with Transceiver and Probe | Searching for Avalanche Victims | Avalanche Beacon Exercises >>