Ortovox Snow Safety Gear: Beacons, Backpacks, Shovels & ProbesJanuary 11th, 2014 By Adam Broderick
Tahoe Mountain Sports is proud to carry the top-dogs in the snow safety game, and we’re especially stoked on Ortovox Avalanche Emergency Equipment for 2014. They recently teamed up with ABS to launch a line of avalanche airbag backpacks, a partnership that we’re excited about not only because we love Ortovox backpacks, but we also stand by ABS airbags and their commitment to excellence in snow safety. The Twin Airbag System is top-of-the-line (click here to read more about the ABS Twin Airbag System), and Ortovox went the extra distance to make the system removable in their ski and ride packs so you can choose to ride with or without, depending on conditions and the extent of your backcountry adventure.
Not only are we backing the Ortovox ski packs for 2014, but their avalanche transceivers, backcountry shovels and snow probes are also a favorite here at the shop. Their transceivers feature Smart Antennae and Third Antennae technologies that pinpoint multiple burial victims and give the most accurate distance and directional readings. Their shovels are super-strong, rigid and lightweight so you can pierce through tough crusts and move lots of dense and heavy snow quickly and efficiently. Ortovox probes are also light and strong, and you can count on them during emergencies to deploy without delay and penetrate snow without snapping or fracturing under pressure.
When we leave the house, the hut, the tent or the trailhead, we all hope that unless we’re going out to practice our backcountry safety skills, our emergency snow equipment will never have to leave our backpacks. When the time does come to use that gear, we have to know we can depend on it. Our lives and our friends’ lives will depend on it. Practice all you want; if your gear can’t be trusted you’ll be no good in the field when disaster strikes. That’s why we only carry the best avalanche safety equipment in our fleet, and why you see Ortovox throughout the shop and our online gear store.
Thanks to Ortovox and the American Institute for Avalanche Research & Education (AIARE) for providing the slides for this instructional avalanche safety video:
Check out these top contenders in the snow safety category for 2014:
|Ortovox M.A.S.S. Modular ABS Airbag Safety System
Weighing less than three pounds and deploying in about three seconds, the Ortovox ABS system is compatible with all Ortovox avalanche packs. With twin airbags, you’re protected from the head to the torso. Ortovox couldn’t have made a better decision than to team up with ABS’s 28 years of airbag expertise and Twinbag technology.
|Ortovox Tour 32+7 ABS Ready Backpack
Back, hip and shoulder muscles are relieved by the Vent-O-Flex back system and an O-Shaped frame, and an extra 20% of space can be added for larger tours by simply unzipping the middle section. The Ortovox Tour 32 + 7 is ready for you to add the airbag system, but if the terrain or conditions don’t necessitate airbags, just leave them behind save a bit of space/weight. Securely attach your skis diagonally or strap your board vertically, stash your skins and crampons in a separate pocket, and rotate the activation handle from left to right arm depending on user-preference. This is one really, really versatile backcountry pack.
|Ortovox S1+ Avalanche Transceiver
The Ortovox S1+ is super-smart. Users can now see a display screen with the relative location of burial victims and be directed toward them along the fastest route. This beacon also features the Smart Antennae, which gives you 43% more range than other transceivers by choosing the best signal to transmit based on the body’s position in the snow. Multiple burials? No problem. Well, that’s actually a major problem, but the S1+ will locate up to 4 buried victims and mark each individually so you can continue searching while your partners dig. Also includes built-in slope Inclinometer and will automatically revert back to transmission-mode if it doesn’t move for over one minute during search mode (think ‘follow-up’ or ‘secondary’ avalanche).
|Ortovox Beast Saw Shovel
High sidewalls and a robust aluminum scoop provide ultimate strength and rigidity in a pack-friendly, collapsible snow shovel that weighs less than two pounds. Inside the shaft lives a snow saw, ideal for carving Rutsch blocks during snow-stability tests and cutting firewood when you end up in survival-mode. The Beast Saw Shovel is ergonomically advanced: a T-handle and lower-hand-grip improve efficient digging in wet conditions, and the oval-shaped, aluminum shaft is stronger than standard snow shovel designs. Don’t need a blade? The Ortovox Beast offers all the same great features and strength, minus the saw for $20 less.
|Ortovox 240 HD PFA Probe
A PFA quick-release tension system deploys in seconds so you’re not stuck wasting any time during a rescue. It also packs back up really fast in case you need to book it out of the backcountry after the rescue. It only weighs 0.7 lbs and is one of the strongest avalanche probes on the market, with a piercing tip that penetrates hard snowpacks with little effort. AL 7075 TS aluminum light and stiff, thus the best choice for probe construction, and an EVA grip is easier to manage and keeps your hands warmer so you can dig more efficiently.
It seems there were some popular terms used frequently in this post: “safe”, “strong”, “efficient”, “lightweight”, “smart”. Do those words mean anything to you, as a backcountry traveler? This is not a coincidence. You can trust in Ortovox Avalanche Emergency Equipment.
Tahoe Mountain Sports also does Ortovox Firmware upgrades for Ortovox transceivers, updating them with the latest versions of Ortovox software to keep you as safe as possible with each passing year. To update your Ortovox beacon, click here: Ortovox Beacon Upgrade – you can either send your beacon to us, or bring it into the shop, and we’ll turn the update around within 24 hours.
Ortovox 3+ Transceiver
Ortovox Free Rider 26 ABS Ready Backpack
Ortovox Avalanche Rescue Kit – 3+