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Radios on the Slopes

by Candace Kramer

“Is anyone out there? Can you hear me now?”

With the recent Plaza (Mountain High) ski trip to Big White Canada I had an great opportunity to see how the technology of two way radios works on the mountain. The radios are so inexpensive, everyone seemed to have a one, a variety of models and styles went along with the level of expertise. I thought this was the perfect weekend to see how our group of 14 could split up into smaller groups and still “remain in touch”. We used channel 6-19.

Some were overheard saying “do these things have batteries” to  “we should of just brought the PACRAT radios”, by the last day batteries were dead or the frustration level was high, “ just turn the dam thing off!”. So I thought I would enlighten others on a few radio etiquette tips.

        Always carry extra batteries , the radios zap energy quickly.

        Some models have a “ringer” that will ring up like a phone the other radio. This only works if the receiver has the same feature on their radio! Great feature when your schussing down the Mt and don’t want to stop your powder run, otherwise your flying downhill with someone chatting away endlessly.

        Where to stash it? I have already lost one, thinking that big clip was a nice feature, it is not. Put it in a pocket, I used my lower leg pocket; one person had it on a lanyard around their neck, very efficient.

        Be specific – who is talking, where is your location and a closing, are you done talking or just chatting on? “I’m over here where are you” instead TRY – “This is Goldilocks at Bullet, Tower 6, powder looks good under chair, meet you at the top, Papa Bear, over”

        Some models “lock in” the frequency you have selected, some do not and sure enough a misplaced thumb can throw you on to a whole new group of skiers, and your wondering why no one is talking to you.

        If your friend’s phone starts to die, they usually can still hear you, they just cannot talk. So when you can tell the rest of the gang, “let’s dump Tom I’m tired of waiting” Good old Tom on the lift can probably hear you he just can’t send! Oh!

        Always, always take the radio into the bar so your group can find you and send in a drink order, some how we never had a challenge here. Hot tubs - take it with you so you can tell your friends in the room to bring down more beer. Very Handy.

        Getting lost, well this is another story, but the radios do come in handy when you are trying to find the bar through the “parking lot/condo/street run”. I will not mention names but they did come out alive.

        Ok, good Buddy, over and out. Stay high and save a line for me. Copy?

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