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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

Poll Option Votes Graph
Yes 3
6% 
Sometimes 9
18% 
Never 37
76% 

Author
EPIRBs for climbing (rock)

Climboholic
4/01/2011
12:22:53 PM
I was surprised to see the opening line of the SMH article on the climbers that nearly got struck by lightning at Pierces pass say: "Police have slammed a teenage rock climber for not carrying an emergency beacon...". I did not think it was common practice to carry an EPIRB on rock climbs. I don't think it is reasonable to expect climbers to carry EPIRBs because you (should) always know which climb you are on in case of an emergency. It would solve the problem with poor reception though.

It is something that I might think about doing next time I do a long adventure climb in the Bluies or Warrumbungles. Especially because I have heard you can hire EPIRBs from National Parks(?) for cheap/free(?).

So my question is: Do you carry an EPIRB when rock climbing?

Butters81
4/01/2011
12:31:58 PM
The comment has arisen due to the fact that the guy who got rescued from Margarine Ridge WAS carrying one. So then the next poor bugger cops all the flack for being normal
Decoy
4/01/2011
12:38:55 PM
On 4/01/2011 Climboholic wrote:
>>
>It is something that I might think about doing next time I do a long adventure
>climb in the Bluies or Warrumbungles. Especially because I have heard you
>can hire EPIRBs from National Parks(?) for cheap/free(?).
>

Here is a site with the info I think your after:

http://www.bwrs.org.au/?q=faq-plb-epirb


Great service. I've borrowed them from Katoomba cops acouple of times. Pays to phone first as they only have a limited number and are often all passed out on busy weekends.

rodw
Online Now
4/01/2011
12:46:41 PM
IF im heading out to a place with dodgy phone reception I take a my spot...

http://au.findmespot.com/en/

It can call in the calvary if needed but can also be used to let people know everything is alright if your just running late....it also tracks you so when ya get home you can see exactly were your new secret crag is on google maps...and those at home can see were ya are as well.



tnd
4/01/2011
1:21:29 PM
On 4/01/2011 rodw wrote:
>IF im heading out to a place with dodgy phone reception I take a my spot...
>
>http://au.findmespot.com/en/
>
>It can call in the calvary if needed but can also be used to let people
>know everything is alright if your just running late....it also tracks
>you so when ya get home you can see exactly were your new secret crag is
>on google maps...and those at home can see were ya are as well.
>

I second that, these are excellent devices. They weigh bugger all and to me it just seems irresponsible not to carry one, or the free loan alternative, on a remote multi-pitch. If nothing else, their use can save rescuers, often volunteers, a lot of time and trouble.

Butters81
4/01/2011
1:25:38 PM
Would you classify Hotel Cal as remote?

rodw
Online Now
4/01/2011
1:27:42 PM
Its remote if it all turns to poo and you dont have reception..not so remote if all goes well.

To me these types of devices are like helmets....use them if ya want to, dont if ya dont want to...I dont care what ya do TBH as its a personal choice.

tnd
4/01/2011
1:34:01 PM
On 4/01/2011 Butters81 wrote:
>Would you classify Hotel Cal as remote?

Anything on that side of the Grose is remote enough to make rescue a time consuming affair.
widewetandslippery
4/01/2011
1:36:13 PM
Means you gotta tell the missus the truth though when the beacon shows the car outside the pub. Then again, the pub in Mittagong is kinda remote.

rodw
Online Now
4/01/2011
1:38:08 PM
To true...but its not the pub...its a stop for lunch :)
widewetandslippery
4/01/2011
1:41:50 PM
Ah the major food group.

voodoo
4/01/2011
2:24:53 PM
Seeing as the location of plenty of climbs is often quite separate from where you walk in from, the limitations of these devices need to be recognised.

Because they don't rely on the phone network, they can be invaluable in raising the alarm should something go wrong in an area without coverage. But in a location where you can't just plonk a chopper straight in and pluck the victims, you still rely on rescuers having a good knowledge of how you get to a specific location - either on foot or via rope access.

In the case of the Hotel Cal incident comment made by the coppers regarding the foolhardiness of not having a beacon - the people involved had no problem raising the alarm, but the rescuers reported taking 5hrs to access an area that climbers routinely get to in 45min. A beacon doesn't solve that particular issue, local knowledge does.

I fully agree that beacons can be incredibly useful (esp wrt initiating a response) but at the same time they can't be viewed as the golden bullet.

tnd
4/01/2011
3:24:51 PM
On 4/01/2011 Musique wrote:
>i'd take an epirb if someone gave one to me, also, if they were a lot lighter,
>smaller and clipable to my harness. i'd also take one if they weren't around
>$700

They're free - you can borrow them from the police in the Blue Mtns. SPOT devices are a couple of hundred bucks and $100 or so per year for the service. Not exactly expensive. They're about the weight of a mobile phone. They can clip to your harness.

bw
4/01/2011
3:59:15 PM
On 4/01/2011 widewetandslippery wrote:
>Means you gotta tell the missus the truth though when the beacon shows
>the car outside the pub. Then again, the pub in Mittagong is kinda remote.

with the spot's, I believe they only show your pos'n when you press the button... so give it to someone heading out bush and get him to press it all day and you can be happily ensconced at the pub :)

rodw
Online Now
4/01/2011
4:34:15 PM
Nah they can track...you just start it up and every 10minutes if it is a satelite in view it'll update on your website...its set and forget.....just strap it to a cow and your set...and pick up up on the way home.
Richard Delaney
4/01/2011
5:32:30 PM
Blue Mountains Police & NPWS are doing their best to raise the profile of the PLBs they lend out for free.

I'd say don't take it personally - they have made a point of headlining PLBs at every opportunity and, having been involved in more than a few Blue Mountains searches, I don't blame them - they're great and save heaps of search time & $.

Richard
Wollemi
4/01/2011
10:32:48 PM
If PLB's are free to hire, then so should cams be - 'coz they have saved my life on a few occasions...

I don't think I would want to clip a PLB to my (rock-climbing) harness. Once cracked one (and at the same time, my VHF radio) in the middle of Bass Strait when rapidly emptying kayak stuff into a carry bag. When I later realised they didn't work, I paddled on to Victoria anyway.

I sometimes carry my PLB when rock-climbing - and pad it in the torso-bag/camel-back.

There are 17 messages in this topic.

 

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