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Avalanche Safety

Winter Accessories for Travel

Carry all the essentials with you easily with packs and bags from the selection of EMS winter accessories. Whether you need hydration packs, AvaLung bags, or just day packs, EMS has everything you need. MOREMORE

Traction Winter Accessories

One of the best winter accessories you’ll need when hiking or climbing is a traction system for your shoes. EMS has the best selection of tractions systems that attach right on top of your winter boots. Keep your feet on the ground with EMS. MOREMORE

Avalanche Gear

In case of an emergency, EMS has you covered. Be as prepared as possible with avalanche apparel and accessories from EMS’ selection of winter accessories. Get your beacons, probes, AvaLungs, and more. BACKBACK

 
 

Avalanche Gear Essentials

Think avalanches happen only in high-altitude places like the Alps, Mount Everest, or the Rockies? Think again. Here in the East, avalanche warnings are not uncommon in the White Mountains and the Adirondacks, so it pays to do your homework. We asked Dave Lottmann, a guide at Eastern Mountain Sports Climbing School and certified AIARE Level II course leader, to give us the lowdown on what every winter adventurer needs to know before heading into the backcountry. Here's what he had to say.

Beacons

In every avalanche course I teach, someone always asks, "What's the best beacon?" The answer is simple: It's the one you practice with the most! Cliché aside, it's the truth. Older analog beacons in the hands of seasoned professionals can locate a buried victim just as fast as the newest digitals. Regardless, improvements in a digital receiver's range have made analog beacons mostly a thing of the past, so we'll take a look at a few digital devices we carry and who their appropriate users might be.

PIEPS DSP 5.0 AVALANCHE BEACON
One of the newest beacons on the market, the Pieps DSP uses a digital signal processor, the highlighted technology in this unit. Generally speaking, the receiver is able to simultaneously detect and synchronize multiple signals to help reduce the confusion that can be caused by close burials. The added technology does complicate the operation some, so I would tend to recommend this unit to seasoned backcountry skiers and patrollers, or those going on ski tours in large remote ranges where multiple burials may be more likely.

MAMMUT PULSE BARRYVOX AVALANCHE BEACON
The Mammut Pulse is another innovative beacon that performs well during multiple burial searches. The triple-antenna configuration allows you to ignore a signal while focusing on locating one person at a time. Once a victim is located, you can mark them "found" and continue the search for other victims. If the buried victim is also using a Pulse, you will be able to see if they have any vital signs or movement, which can help with running triage (who we dig for first). With the current 3.0 firmware update, the Pulse has both a basic and advanced user interface, making this an excellent choice for neophyte backcountry travelers as well as seasoned vets.

BACKCOUNTRY ACCESS TRACKER2 BEACON
Arguably the easiest-to-use beacon on the market, the new BCA Tracker2 adds the accuracy of a triple-antenna configuration to the very intuitive interface, which makes this the beacon of choice for all EMS Climbing School avalanche courses. When the adrenaline is pumping and your ski partner is counting on you, it's reassuring to know your beacon keeps the search simple. This is an excellent choice for beginners and experts alike.

Probes

A beacon is just one part of a complete avalanche safety kit. The other two parts are a probe and shovel. A beacon can get you only so close to a victim, so digging without getting a probe strike can waste a lot of time and energy. Before you start tossing snow around, you NEED to get a probe strike.

We recommend a dedicated probe, aluminum or carbon fiber, 240 to 300 cm. We carry quality probes from Black Diamond, BCA, and Life-Link. Just like your beacon, efficient use of the pole requires practice with both deploying and probe technique. Always probe perpendicular to the snow, with both hands on the probe and in an organized pattern. Once you get a strike, leave the pole in place! It will give you valuable info on the depth of the burial, which can help with strategic shoveling.

Shovels

Once you've pinpointed the victim, it's time to dig them out. Digging without a shovel is incredibly difficult, as the snow from an avalanche sets up like concrete within seconds of the avalanche coming to a stop. We recommend metal snow shovels for chopping through hard debris. The Black Diamond Deploy 3 is great for day touring and digs quite well for its collapsible size. For eight ounces more, I prefer the Black Diamond Transfer 7 for any overnight trips or extensive time in avalanche terrain. The telescoping handle greatly improves digging efficiency, and when disassembled, it can still fit into the shovel pocket of my pack.

Backcountry Brain

Without a doubt, the most important tool you take with you into the mountains is your brain. Recognizing avalanche terrain and avoiding it when danger is high is one of the easier skills to learn. Implementing travel techniques to further increase your safety once you have deemed a slope safe to travel on takes a little more time and practice. Quickly responding to an avalanche and carrying out a rescue requires constant practice.


ORTOVOX Tour 32+7 ABS Backpack - Eastern Mountain Sports
ORTOVOX Tour 32+7 ABS Backpack
PRICE: $1,203.00
ORTOVOX M.A.S.S Unit - Eastern Mountain Sports
ORTOVOX M.A.S.S Unit
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MAMMUT Barryvox Pulse Avalanche Beacon - Eastern Mountain Sports
MAMMUT Barryvox Pulse Avalanche Beacon
PRICE: $490.00
ORTOVOX S1+ Avalanche Transceiver with Recco - Eastern Mountain Sports
ORTOVOX S1+ Avalanche Transceiver with Recco
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PRICE: $489.00
PIEPS DSP 5.0 Avalanche Transceiver - Eastern Mountain Sports
PIEPS DSP 5.0 Avalanche Transceiver
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PRICE: $450.00
ORTOVOX 3+ Avalanche Transceiver with Recco - Eastern Mountain Sports
ORTOVOX 3+ Avalanche Transceiver with Recco
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PRICE: $369.00
BACKCOUNTRY ACCESS Tracker2 Beacon - Eastern Mountain Sports
BACKCOUNTRY ACCESS Tracker2 Beacon
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PRICE: $299.95
ORTOVOX Zoom+ Avalanche Transceiver - Eastern Mountain Sports
ORTOVOX Zoom+ Avalanche Transceiver
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PRICE: $299.00
ORTOVOX Zoom+ Avalanche Transceiver with Recco - Eastern Mountain Sports
ORTOVOX Zoom+ Avalanche Transceiver with Recco
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PRICE: $299.00
BLACK DIAMOND Revelation AvaLung Backpack - Eastern Mountain Sports
BLACK DIAMOND Revelation AvaLung Backpack
PRICE: $279.95
SALE: $199.98
ORTOVOX ABS Activation Unit - Eastern Mountain Sports
ORTOVOX ABS Activation Unit
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PRICE: $175.00
BLACK DIAMOND Pieps Freeride Beacon - Eastern Mountain Sports
BLACK DIAMOND Pieps Freeride Beacon
PRICE: $169.95
BLACK DIAMOND Agent AvaLung Backpack - Eastern Mountain Sports
BLACK DIAMOND Agent AvaLung Backpack
PRICE: $199.95
SALE: $149.98
BLACK DIAMOND AvaLung II Avalanche Device - Eastern Mountain Sports
BLACK DIAMOND AvaLung II Avalanche Device
PRICE: $139.95
ORTOVOX 240+ Carbon Pro PFA Probe - Eastern Mountain Sports
ORTOVOX 240+ Carbon Pro PFA Probe
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PRICE: $95.00
ORTOVOX 320+ Steel Pro PFA Probe - Eastern Mountain Sports
ORTOVOX 320+ Steel Pro PFA Probe
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ORTOVOX 240 Carbon PFA Probe - Eastern Mountain Sports
ORTOVOX 240 Carbon PFA Probe
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BLACK DIAMOND Evac 7 Shovel - Eastern Mountain Sports
BLACK DIAMOND Evac 7 Shovel
PRICE: $79.95
ORTOVOX Beast Saw Shovel - Eastern Mountain Sports
ORTOVOX Beast Saw Shovel
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PRICE: $79.00
ORTOVOX 320+ PFA Probe - Eastern Mountain Sports
ORTOVOX 320+ PFA Probe
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BLACK DIAMOND Deploy 3 Shovel - Eastern Mountain Sports
BLACK DIAMOND Deploy 3 Shovel
PRICE: $69.95
BLACK DIAMOND QuickDraw Guide Probe 300 - Eastern Mountain Sports
BLACK DIAMOND QuickDraw Guide Probe 300
PRICE: $59.95
ORTOVOX 240 Light PFA Probe - Eastern Mountain Sports
ORTOVOX 240 Light PFA Probe
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PRICE: $59.00
ORTOVOX Beast Shovel - Eastern Mountain Sports
ORTOVOX Beast Shovel
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PRICE: $59.00
ORTOVOX 240 Light PFA Avalanche Probe - Eastern Mountain Sports
ORTOVOX 240 Light PFA Avalanche Probe
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PRICE: $54.00
BLACK DIAMOND QuickDraw Super Tour Probe 265 - Eastern Mountain Sports
BLACK DIAMOND QuickDraw Super Tour Probe 265
PRICE: $49.95
ORTOVOX Badger Shovel - Eastern Mountain Sports
ORTOVOX Badger Shovel
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PRICE: $49.00
BLACK DIAMOND Lynx Shovel - Eastern Mountain Sports
BLACK DIAMOND Lynx Shovel
PRICE: $39.95
UST U-Dig-It Extreme Shovel - Eastern Mountain Sports
UST U-Dig-It Extreme Shovel
PRICE: $29.95
SNOWCLAW Backcountry Snow Shovel - Eastern Mountain Sports
SNOWCLAW Backcountry Snow Shovel
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PRICE: $20.00

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