Welcome to SP!  -
Areas & RangesMountains & RocksRoutesImagesArticlesTrip ReportsGearOtherPeoplePlans & PartnersWhat's NewForum

Do you carry a PLB ( Locator Beacon) ?

Post general questions and discuss issues related to climbing.
 

Re: Do you carry a PLB ( Locator Beacon) ?

Postby SeanReedy » Thu Nov 07, 2013 6:25 pm

Steve1215 wrote:-

rest assured this dude never carried no spot/blt device

vvv

Image



,


C'mon, man! Get with the times! Give us video! Intense action and gore wouldn't hurt either!



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7mhk7tbG3Q


Story synopsis here if ya hadn't heard:
http://www.moabsunnews.com/news/article_040e6a2e-464d-11e3-b7cb-0019bb30f31a.html


He wouldn't need a PLB in that location and with a knowledgeable team around him, but he did put himself in need of rescue.
User Avatar
SeanReedy

 
Posts: 732
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2005 8:37 pm
Location: Santa Clara County, California, United States
Thanked: 356 times in 282 posts

Re: Do you carry a PLB ( Locator Beacon) ?

Postby MoapaPk » Thu Nov 07, 2013 6:42 pm

They had cellphones! But I would guess the cellphones didn't spur them on.
User Avatar
MoapaPk

 
Posts: 7610
Joined: Fri May 13, 2005 7:42 pm
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Thanked: 739 times in 477 posts

Re: Do you carry a PLB ( Locator Beacon) ?

Postby Buz Groshong » Thu Nov 07, 2013 6:47 pm

MoapaPk wrote:
Buz Groshong wrote:
Catamount wrote:^^^^

OK, my bad. Must be SPOT devices ... they link a webpage and the fun begins.

Like I said earlier, I'm low tech.


Not your bad at all. SPOT also serves the same purpose, it just also serve less critical purposes as well. Throwing SPOT out of the discussion is splitting hairs. As a "'ferinstance," how does asmrz know that what he is talking about is not a SPOT unless he has seen the actual device?


To help clarify: The overwhelming use of a SPOT is just to send out private check messages to a few individuals or public website; 99.99... % of the time a SPOT is activated, there is no desire for response from S&R. On the other hand, a true PLB, when activated, will ALWAYS try to draw an S&R response if the message is received; there is no other use for a PLB. But you can also use a SPOT like a PLB, to send out a true distress signal that goes (almost) directly to S&R. There are substantial technical differences as well, in the way the beacon is located (by satellites), and in the frequency (SPOT uses a much higher frequency, and is less able to send a signal from tight canyons, under deep tree cover, etc.).

SPOTs are often used for adventure racing. The situation Catamount described would be possible with a SPOT (or similar messenger), but not with a Cospas-Sarsat PLB. No annual subscription is required to use a Cospas-Sarsat device. As I said, over the years, people have starting calling SPOTs PLBs, and that lack of distinction probably causes some of the angst. To make matters even more confusing, some hybid PLBs, using the Cospas-Sarsat network, now offer a private messaging option much like the SPOT.

PLBs were not originally designed to have GPS, but many offer that service nowadays:
http://www.rei.com/product/815753/acr-e ... tor-beacon

Here's one that allows one to use a private messaging service for an annual fee:
http://www.rei.com/product/804324/acr-e ... tor-beacon
...but you can still use it as a Cospas-Sarsat PLB without buying the service.

Confusing?


What? No mention of EPIRBs?
User Avatar
Buz Groshong

 
Posts: 2804
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 10:58 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia, United States
Thanked: 675 times in 475 posts

Re: Do you carry a PLB ( Locator Beacon) ?

Postby MoapaPk » Thu Nov 07, 2013 8:00 pm

Buz Groshong wrote:What? No mention of EPIRBs?


Nah, they are mainly used for boating. But let's talk about the PLB homing signal...
User Avatar
MoapaPk

 
Posts: 7610
Joined: Fri May 13, 2005 7:42 pm
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Thanked: 739 times in 477 posts

Re: Do you carry a PLB ( Locator Beacon) ?

Postby SeanReedy » Thu Nov 07, 2013 8:48 pm

mrchad9 wrote:To me that is indeed the primary value of one of these devices, though I guess it only applies to a SPOT and not a PLB. Allowing family, friends, or nobodies on the internet to following along when you are either on a weekend overnight or a wicked trip in Alaska, Peru, or wherever. Primarily something to play with.

Of course they are rescue devices too, and I don’t hold it against anyone at all who brings them for that ‘just in case’ purpose. It makes perfect sense for some folks. I just don’t happen to use them or even know anyone personally who uses them for that purpose. And I don't think I would ever take one for that purpose.

It also makes just as much sense not to use them. It is a personal preference. A couple of weeks ago I was out on a 4th class ridge in the Sierra. I had jumped on doing this route at effectively the very last minute when I saw what the weather might be like. As it happens as I was throwing all my crap together I forgot to bring any beta describing the route. I’d read it slightly but not a full description and nothing useful. Also, and I suppose more importantly, I had forgotten to leave my itinerary with anyone. Well sometimes this happens.

So there I am on this ridge, and it has a couple of real exposed moves but not too bad. And it did involve a lot of routefinding thanks to my not bringing any information along. It wasn’t quite as simple as ‘stick to the ridge’.

Anyway it ended up being a spectacular experience, far better than if I had done it any other way. Of course, I wouldn’t have been reckless or endangered myself if I had been there with a SPOT, or given someone my itinerary, or had a couple of competent partners along. But it was certainly a different experience up there in total silence. Late October, no one around for miles and only one other car at one of the busiest trailheads in the Sierra (in summer). I knew even the slightest mistake could likely be tragic, even if I triped on the talus (or is it scree?) on the approach, never mind on the ridge! Any slip and it would be days before I was located… or maybe even next spring. But to have my mind empty with no other thought than concentrating on what I was doing… it was the best! And I wouldn’t have traded it for anything. I was happy it worked out that way.

And still… sitting there by a stream running through a meadow, sending out that ‘OK’ signal and knowing someone is logging on to check it out online… well that’s the best too.


I know what you mean all around, especially regarding preference, but I'll reiterate that using the SPOT to check in has become mindless for me. It rarely causes much thought and is never a distraction. It is used when I'm already in the midst of retrieving/using other items I've brought along. If it seems a bother or unnecessary on a given outing, I might only check in once that day or not even bring it along. For a small fee, it can be set to automatically send messages (timing, complexity, and $ vary by model). My wife doesn't consider my checking in with it just playing around, even on dayhikes.

Your time/frequency/experience and skill in the mountains has grown beyond mine and your responsibility outside of the mountains seems less than mine, but I understand and have lived the experience you described. Maybe it is largely due to wife & kids, but my frequency of making mistakes on leaving a solid itinerary has lessened (even with the SPOT as backup).

This seems redundant, but what several posts are getting at is that if a tragedy/significant accident/major error occurs and kills/maims/delays you, people will eventually be looking for you. It might just be SAR folks you don't know, a few friends, and maybe some SPers, but if you go missing, people will look for you and will hope to find you quickly. Some folks have had huge search efforts turn up nothing over weeks, months, or years. SPOT or PLB, and a solid itinerary obviously can be of help. Carrying a PLB/SPOT could be viewed as being more responsible than not carrying one.
User Avatar
SeanReedy

 
Posts: 732
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2005 8:37 pm
Location: Santa Clara County, California, United States
Thanked: 356 times in 282 posts

The following user would like to thank SeanReedy for this post
bscott

Re: Do you carry a PLB ( Locator Beacon) ?

Postby SeanReedy » Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:35 am

User Avatar
SeanReedy

 
Posts: 732
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2005 8:37 pm
Location: Santa Clara County, California, United States
Thanked: 356 times in 282 posts

Re: Do you carry a PLB ( Locator Beacon) ?

Postby Sunny Buns » Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:30 am

Differences between types of locators: http://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/personal-locator-beacons.html

Haven't carried one in my 30 years of traveling thru wilderness in the Western US. Don't carry a GPS either - I did carry a GPS for a short period of time - only had a situation where it might have helped me two times: the first time I was in dense forest and it didn't work - the second time I got an error message: "Upload Not Present". How useful. Not.

I'm confident in my abilities, I know my limits, and I don't exceed them. I am always prepared to survive a day or two beyond my planned return date if I get into trouble, in any weather that could possibly occur. Thus I have no need for locating devices, but I have no problem if someone wants to carry one.

Regarding the link to the Oregonian article in a previous post: I don't listen to newspaper columnists who don't know anything about anything; they are paid to mouth off about everything to fill space on a page.
Sunny Buns

 
Posts: 297
Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 8:24 am
Location: Eugene, Oregon, United States
Thanked: 28 times in 23 posts

Re: Do you carry a PLB ( Locator Beacon) ?

Postby SeanReedy » Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:57 am

Sunny Buns wrote:Differences between types of locators: http://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/personal-locator-beacons.html

Haven't carried one in my 30 years of traveling thru wilderness in the Western US. Don't carry a GPS either - I did carry a GPS for a short period of time - only had a situation where it might have helped me two times: the first time I was in dense forest and it didn't work - the second time I got an error message: "Upload Not Present". How useful. Not.

I'm confident in my abilities, I know my limits, and I don't exceed them. I am always prepared to survive a day or two beyond my planned return date if I get into trouble, in any weather that could possibly occur. Thus I have no need for locating devices, but I have no problem if someone wants to carry one.

Regarding the link to the Oregonian article in a previous post: I don't listen to newspaper columnists who don't know anything about anything; they are paid to mouth off about everything to fill space on a page.


Well, I see that a debate developed on the rei site about the SPOT. Mine has always worked, usually sending a messge within about 10 minutes.

I rarely use a gps, but many models work well for those who do. Map and compass are good.

The Oregonian editorial in parentheses was placed to reference what the mildly humorous cartoon was referencing. The cartoonist referenced it on his blog site. I agree with your assessment of editorials and do not endorse the opinions in the linked editorial, nor do I fully agree with the cartoon placed for humor. I do find it mildly humorous that you may trust some of the political sources you've posted before in other threads, but to each his own with that too.
User Avatar
SeanReedy

 
Posts: 732
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2005 8:37 pm
Location: Santa Clara County, California, United States
Thanked: 356 times in 282 posts

Re: Do you carry a PLB ( Locator Beacon) ?

Postby SeanReedy » Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:18 pm

Sam, sorry to hear about your friend.

You make a good point, but (less importantly) be aware that SunnyBuns and I couldn't see your post when we posted (the posts dated Friday).

If any consolation, I'm hoping for the best for your friend and all impacted by the incident.
User Avatar
SeanReedy

 
Posts: 732
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2005 8:37 pm
Location: Santa Clara County, California, United States
Thanked: 356 times in 282 posts

Re: Do you carry a PLB ( Locator Beacon) ?

Postby MoapaPk » Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:30 pm

chacun à son goût.

I have a good friend, very open to many ways of thinking; but he is adamant about never carrying a SPOT or PLB, because it just doesn't go with his sense of adventure. Yet whenever we reach a summit, he checks for 3g service on his cell phone, and may start texting when he gets a connection. I don't fault him that, as he avoids talking aloud on the cell.
User Avatar
MoapaPk

 
Posts: 7610
Joined: Fri May 13, 2005 7:42 pm
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Thanked: 739 times in 477 posts

Re: Do you carry a PLB ( Locator Beacon) ?

Postby Sunny Buns » Sun Nov 10, 2013 6:08 am

My position remains unchanged on the PLBs: use one if you want, but do not try to force it on other people. The Oregonian article and cartoon are both attempts to put pressure on Oregon politicians to write laws forcing Mt. Hood climbers to use PLBs. If enough people listen to those idiots and their line of thinking the next thing you will have is a bureaucratic nightmare just to get a permit to climb Mt. Hood; or any other mountain. Be careful what you wish for.
Sunny Buns

 
Posts: 297
Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 8:24 am
Location: Eugene, Oregon, United States
Thanked: 28 times in 23 posts

PreviousNext

Return to General

 


  • Related topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

© 2006-2013 SummitPost.org. All Rights Reserved.