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Mountain safety

How to choose your avalanche safety equiment?

Touring has never been as trendy as now and so is freeride skiing or snowboarding. If it’s true that riding on powder feels incredibly nice and offers that unbeatable feel of freedom, but it can be dangerous. In order to make risks as low as possible, make sure you are equipped as you should (and must). The three things you have to have are a transceiver (avalanche beacon), a probe and a shovel. In case of an avalanche, you will need these 3 things to retrieve and save somebody who got caught in an avalanche. Another great feature is the airbag. It helps you float on top of the avalanche and drastically increases your odds of survival.
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Arva Shovel Access OverviewArva Shovel Access Side
  • £31.36

Appreciated by skiers and snowboarders, the Arva Access shovel proves to be very effective, both for shaping a kicker in the powder and for recovering an avalanche victim.

Mammut Shovel Alugator Ride 2.0 2149 neon orange Overview
  • Recommended price

    £52.86

    -32%

    £35.75

The Alugator Ride 2.0 Neon Orange avalanche shovel from the Mammut brand of mountain accessories will please you with its lightness, robustness, practicality and ergonomics

Ortovox Shovel Shovel Beast Safety Blue OverviewOrtovox Shovel Shovel Beast Safety Blue Side
  • £53.67

The Ortovox Shovel Beast Safety Blue avalanche shovel is ideal for light ski touring thanks to its low weight of 590 grams and its telescopic handle.

Ortovox Shovel Shovel Beast Safety Blue OverviewOrtovox Probe Alu 240 PFA Argent Overview
  • Recommended price

    £111.91

    -10%

    £100.71

The Ortovox Shovel Beast Safety Blue avalanche shovel is ideal for light ski touring thanks to its low weight of 590 grams and its telescopic handle.

Ortovox Shovel Shovel Beast Safety Blue OverviewOrtovox Probe Alu 240 PFA Argent Overview
  • Recommended price

    £111.91

    -10%

    £100.71

The Ortovox Shovel Beast Safety Blue avalanche shovel is ideal for light ski touring thanks to its low weight of 590 grams and its telescopic handle.

Arva Shovel Plume OverviewArva Shovel Plume Side
  • £58.24

Highly appreciated for its extreme lightness, the Arva Plume snow shovel can be used to carve a kick in powder snow as well as to free a victim caught under an avalanche.

Mammut Transceivers Barryvox OverviewMammut Transceivers Barryvox Side
  • Recommended price

    £268.71

    -10%

    £241.83

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Arva Shovel Shovel Plume Ts OverviewArva Shovel Shovel Plume Ts Side
  • £62.63

The Arva Plume Ts snow shovel has a telescopic handle with Pin Lock, which is extremely effective when it comes to freeing someone trapped in an avalanche

Ortovox Shovel Pro Alu III Safety Blue Overview
  • £71.59

Along with the avalanche transceiver and the probe, the Ortovox Pro Alu III Safety Blue snow shovel is one of the essentials to have in your backpack for safe freeriding or hiking

Ortovox Shovel Pro Alu III Safety Blue OverviewOrtovox Probe Alu 240 PFA Argent Overview
  • Recommended price

    £129.83

    -10%

    £116.84

Along with the avalanche transceiver and the probe, the Ortovox Pro Alu III Safety Blue snow shovel is one of the essentials to have in your backpack for safe freeriding or hiking

Black Diamond Shovel Transfer Shovel Hyper Red OverviewBlack Diamond Shovel Transfer Shovel Hyper Red Back
  • £44.71

Ergonomic and robust, the Black Diamond Transfer Hyper Red avalanche snow shovel is equipped with a telescopic handle and an anodized blade whose design is redesigned for a better analysis of the snow cover.

Colour
  • Black Diamond Shovel Transfer Shovel Hyper Red Overview
Black Diamond Shovel Transfer Lt Shovel Envy Green OverviewBlack Diamond Shovel Transfer Lt Shovel Envy Green Back
  • £71.59

Equipped with a telescopic handle and a riveted bucket with a volume of 500 cm², the Black Diamond Transfer Lt Envy Green snow shovel proves to be effective in freeing an avalanche victim

Colour
  • Black Diamond Shovel Transfer Lt Shovel Envy Green Overview
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Ortovox Transceivers Zoom+ Bleu Océan OverviewOrtovox Transceivers Zoom+ Bleu Océan Side
  • £197.03

Equipped with the Smart Antenna technology and the Recco system, the Ortovox Zoom+ Ocean Blue DVA is digital with a directional arrow to intuitively indicate the victim's position.

Arva Shovel Access Ts OverviewArva Shovel Access Ts Side
  • £40.32

The Arva Access TS snow shovel is a versatile, light and practical model. Its foldable telescopic handle allows you to store it in such a way that it takes up little space.

Ortovox Beacon package Rescue Set Diract Voice Eu Diverse Farben OverviewOrtovox Beacon package Rescue Set Diract Voice Eu Diverse Farben Beneath
  • £349.35

When you leave the marked trails, it is imperative to be equipped with the DVA, shovel and probe, and to know how to use them in case of an emergency. With its guidance mode, it increases your efficiency.  

Black Diamond Shovel Deploy Shovel Octane OverviewBlack Diamond Shovel Deploy Shovel Octane Back
  • £53.67

The Deploy 7 is a sturdy and practical Black Diamond snow shovel with a trapezoidal handle that saves valuable time during assembly

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  • Black Diamond Shovel Deploy Shovel Octane Overview
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Arva Probe Spark 240 OverviewArva Probe Spark 240 Side
  • £44.71

With a total length of 2.40 m, the space-saving Arva Spark 240 probe is made of a robust and light-weight 7075 aluminium with a stainless steel cord tension system.

Pieps Shovel T 640 Telescopic OverviewPieps Shovel T 640 Telescopic Side
  • £53.67

The T 640 Telescopic from Pieps is a light and robust snow shovel, which will be perfect for ski touring in high or low mountains, without taking up too much space.

Pieps Shovel T 640 Telescopic OverviewPieps Probe Probe Aluminium 260 - Sans Overview
  • Recommended price

    £107.34

    -10%

    £96.58

The T 640 Telescopic from Pieps is a light and robust snow shovel, which will be perfect for ski touring in high or low mountains, without taking up too much space.

BCA Probe Stealth 240 OverviewBCA Probe Stealth 240 Side
  • £44.71

BCA's Stealth 240 2017 is an avalanche probe with a reinforced tip to get through snowpack and ice debris more easily. Perfect probe for ski touring.

Colour
  • BCA Probe Stealth 240 Overview
BCA Shovel Dozer 1T Shovel Blue Blue OverviewBCA Shovel Dozer 1T Shovel Blue Blue Beneath
  • £49.28

The Backcountry Access Dozer 1T Blue Avalanche Rescue Shovel can be deployed very quickly and can also be used to make cuts in the snow to analyze its quality

Colour
  • BCA Shovel Dozer 1T Shovel Blue Blue Overview

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Buyer’s guide for safety equipment.

When you’re about to go off piste, the first thing you think of is the nice untouched slope you’re going to ride. Or perhaps the gorgeous landscapes you’re going to see. But don’t rush, take the time to prepare your session carefully. Analyse your line, the snow conditions and the weather forecast as well as the avalanche risks. If you are not sure about one or more, better delay your session. You have only one life. The avalanche safety gear (beacon, probe, shovel) is with you in case things don’t go as planned but in an ideal world, you shouldn’t have to use it!

How does an avalanche beacon work?

The avalanche transceiver or beacon has two functions, transmit or receive. In other words, it either helps you find burried victims, or help the others find you. In transmit mode, the device emits radio signals continuously. This means if you were to get caught in an avalanche, it would continue to emit (even when covered of snow) and help the others locate your position. The receive mode is for when you look for a victim. Basic transceivers will bip faster and faster and louder and louder as you get closer to the body. Modern beacons are easier to use as they point the direction of the victim with an arrow and display the distance between you and the victim. High-end transceivers can even help you locate several victims.

Are the shovel and the probe really needed?

15 minutes. This is the time limit established for retrieving an avalanche victime. It may seem long enough but in real conditions, time flies. The beacon will lead you to the victim but only the probe will help you locate it precisely. And even if you have located it, your bare hands won’t help much to dig the snow. A shovel will. An avalanche beacon, a probe and a shovel are three things that go together. If you buy a shovel, you can buy a convertible one that turns into an ice pick for even more efficiency. And even if you have the best safety gear ever, you need to know how to use it and nothing replaces training. We highly recommend to train on how to recover avalanche victims on a regular basis!

How about the ABS airbag?

This technical piece of equipment features a system with an air cartridge that inflates an airbag. To activate, just pull the handle. This technology was proven to be efficient and increases drastically your odds to stay afloat on top of the avalanche. It is a great extra feature for freeriders.

So, before it’s too late, have a look at our avalanche safety gear!