Press release about the new new transceiver training facility at Glencoe.
“Practice, Practice, Practice.” Avalanche educators are often heard chanting to students learning to use avalanche transceivers.
An exciting collaboration between Glencoe Ski Centre, Backcountry Access® distributed by Edinburgh based Anatom Ltd, Glencoe Ski Patrol (BASP) and the Scottish Mountain Safety Group will provide that opportunity to practice when the UK’s very first Backcountry Access Avalanche Transceiver Training Park is officially opened at 11am on the 8th of January by the legendary Hamish Macinnes.
Hamish Macinnes is the co-founder with the late Eric Langmuir of what’s known as S.A.I.S (Scottish Avalanche Information Service).He feels that he is well qualified to speak about avalanches having been in 5 (four on rescues and 1 in the Himalayas when descending in a storm).Since the early 1960’s Hamish was involved in passing on awareness to mountaineering students on snow structure with the help of the Glencoe Mountain Rescue team.Information boards were put up in Glencoe and details of supersonic flights were posted as these sonic booms were believed to be a potential hazard in critical snow conditions. Yvon Chounard founder of Patagonia equipment when climbing in the Tetons reckoned that somic booms caused rock falls.The formation of the S.A.I.S would not have been possible without the backing of Michael Forsyth then Secretary of state for Scotland and other MP’s such as Sam Galbraith.The use of transceivers is a proven safety tool for those who go to the hills in winter.
For the climber the hill walker and the off piste skier the training park will be a valuable aid to there transceiver training
Case studies confirm that practice search preparation time is significantly shortened with access to such dedicated training sites. And advanced skills such as deep and multiple burials can be developed in less time and in more realistic scenarios when utilising Transceiver Training Parks
It is expected that the training park will help to save lives in the Scottish mountains in the coming years as it will allow emergency teams, backcountry skiers, climbers and hill walkers to test there emergency equipment and hone there companion rescue skills just metres from the plateau café at Glencoe ski centre.
The new owner at the ski centre Andy Meldrum says “It’s great to be involved in such an exciting project which will ultimately help ensure our mountains are safer places. As a Community Interest Company it’s just the sort of project we want to develop at Glencoe”
Gordon Fraser of Anatom says: “Backcountry Access Transceiver Training Park is a training system created to make it easier for recreation snow-users and pros to practice with their transceivers. It features nine permanently buried transmitters at different orientations and wired to a central control panel. Search scenarios can be changed at the flick of the on/off switch on the control panel. Instead of digging holes and re-burying transceivers all day, you spend your valuable time actually practising with your transceiver. The Training Park stays in place for the entire season and eliminates the time consuming task of physically developing transceiver search scenarios. The Training Park allows for searches to be done in a non-contaminated environment-one without footprints, shovel marks, or holes that have been refilled. Because there are no clues.”
Heather Morning Mountain Safety Adviser with the Mountaineering Council of Scotland says ‘The opening of the Avalanche Transceiver Park at Glencoe Mountain is an excellent initiative which could prove to save lives in the future. The culture for off-piste skiers and boarders to wear transceivers is increasing; as is the use of transceivers by mountaineering and climbing parties in the Scottish Hills. Having the opportunity to practice with avalanche transceivers prior to an incident is obviously essential. Like any piece of safety equipment, it is no use having the gear and not knowing how to use it”.
SAIS say “The transceiver park at Glencoe is a great initiative and is a long overdue resource that will benefit many groups and individuals that are involved in the winter mountains, Freeriders, Off piste skiers, Mountain Rescue personnel, Ski tourers, Climbers and walkers will be able to develop their avalanche rescue search techniques. The great winters that we have experienced both last year and this, have provided great opportunities for freeriders and skiers to explore slopes and gullies away from the piste, the transceiver park will help raise awareness of the existence of avalanche hazard and the responsibilities of getting the right gear and knowing how to use it effectively.”
Fiona Gunn BASP Manager (British Association of Ski Patrollers) -. “The Glencoe Mountain Transceiver Park is a welcome addition to promoting safe travel in avalanche terrain and succesfull companion rescue”
There will be no charge for use of the park – although donations to assist with its upkeep will be gladly received. The park will be open from 10am – 3pm daily and ski patrol will be on hand to provide assistance. For more details go to www.glencoemountain.co.uk or call 01855 851226.