If there is any indication that avalanche beacons have become too complicated, it’s how tough the technical editing is proving to be on our reviews. This morning I began working on the technical background info that reviewer Jonathan provided a while back. I’m whipping it into shape as the last part of our series of reviews. I kept getting stymied on issues such as how much to assume the reader knows, as in terms such as “coupling.” More, it turns out even something you’d assume was simple, such as range testing, is nearly as complicated as designing the navigation system for the space shuttle.
Publication slated for later today or tomorrow. Meanwhile, I’m thinking we’re in a phase of avy beacon development that will be looked back on as a dark time. A period hovering just past the simplicity of analog boxes containing little more than a battery and antenna — while we wait for the full potential of the digital world to actually make beacons user friendly. Sort of like computers? Only we’re at a stage that’s about the same level as the first PCs running on DOS (if you even know or remember what that is).
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.