It took only six years and a veritable avalanche of evidence, but Europe’s foremost avalanche rescue experts have acknowledged the problem of signal overlap and the shortcomings of multiple-burial “marking” functions.
Manuel Genswein presented, “Transceiver performance when searching for multiple burials,” along with co-authors Juerg Schweizer of the Swiss avalanche institute (SLF) and Fred Jarry and Dominique Létang of the French avalanche institute (ANENA), respectively. They revealed that in tests with novice and “average” beacon users in Davos, Switzerland last season, one-third of the users could not locate one of three buried transmitters within the 12-minute time limit. They traced the problem to “signal overlap,” which happens when the transmit pulse of one transmitter is beeping at the same time as another, thereby concealing it. This often results in lack of “marking” capability, “Stop” or “Stand Still” messages, or the re-emergence of transmit signals that have been previously marked. Sound familiar?
People who follow Pistehors will know we’ve been talking about this issue since Lund’s original article, so it is not exactly fair to claim that Europeans are a bunch of ignorant yahoos
In fact, given the very wide readership of this site we’ve maybe done more than anyone to get this problem out into the public domain.