Allvarligt fel uppdagat på populär transceiver: kan slå av sig av misstag
De populära modellerna Pieps DSP Sport och Peips DSP Pro har i flera uppmärksammade fall gått från sändläge till avslaget läge när de hamnat i en skarp lavinsituation. Konstruktionen av av- och på-knappen gör den känslig för fysisk belastning.
Det kanske mest uppmärksammade fallet inträffade under inspelningnen av Teton Gravity Researchs nya film Make Believe. Åkaren Nick McNutt droppade in på ett pillowåk, ovetandes om att ett överhäng gick av mitt i åket och började rulla ner mot Nicks tilltänkta landning i slutet på åket. Nick och den utlösta lavinen nådde slutet på åket br aprecis samtidigt och han sveptes vidare av snömassorna in bland träden. Någon gång mellan det att han droppar in på åket tills då han stannar under snömassorna har hans transceiver slagit av sig.
En annan skidåkare som var med vid tillfället, Christina Lusti, har berättat om upplevelsen i en serie inlägg på instagram.
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Notable part 2: Nick dropped in and started linking turns on top of his line. I was in awe of how easy he made it look and didnât even notice the giant pillow get dislodged from his slough. The pillow fell into his exit gully, entraining snow in its path. Just as he came off the end of his line he was side swiped by the giant chunks of pillow, that sent him tumbling through some trees. Hearing him scream as he hit the trees undoubtedly drove us into rescue mode. The avalanche quickly mutted nicks screams as it pushed him deep under the snow. I felt a huge weight of our current situation bear down, and the urgency of our actions would define life or death.
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My mind quickly raced into rescue mode. Judging by the size of the avalanche, I was initially confident we would be able to dig Nick out.Â Â Ian and Sam were first to arrive on the avalanche debris; they split up and naturally started a hasty search.Â Â While I'd rate the avalanche as a size 1 , the slope's transition to lake acted as a terrain trap burdening us with a relatively deep pile of debris.Â Â My confidence in quickly rescuing Nick was smashed when I heard Ian yell, "I don't have a signalâ followed by âhow is his beacon off?!â My mind went to the worst case scenario.Â Â Fuck!!! How did we not have a signal?Â By now, everyone had arrived on scene, the inReach SOS was sent, and we still had no transceiver signal.Â Â All rescue gear was out. Searching from Nick's last seen point was initiated by Ian and Sam.Â Â I yelled to the crew.Â "We need to do a probe line." BDann got a lucky probe strike and yelled out, "I got him"Â Â We immediately started shovelling as the crew moved down and into efficient shovelling technique. Ian double-checked the probe strike. We didn't have time to make a mistake. Without the signal to reassure us, we needed to be confident it was Nick we hit with the probe.Â Â With all hands on deck, the crew powered chopping blocks and excavating the snow as quickly as we could. Nick was 1.2m deep horizontal and facing upslope. We arrived at Nick's airway, clearing away any snow around his face.Â Â Nick was buried for just over 5minutes. We continued to excavate the remaining snow around him.Â Â Sitting him up and off the snow, we started a full body check. Ian checked his transceiver and confirmed it was in off mode. (Pieps DSP pro model worn properly in its harness around his chest)Â His arm was visibly broken, and he was in about a âª7/10â¬ pain, spitting up blood and complaining of chest pain. Shivering from cold & shock, we lifted him onto the snowmobile. Covering him with our extra jackets, we were able to keep him relatively warm. We waited for about 1.5 hours for SAR to arrive.Â Â He was airlifted to the Pemberton medical clinic and transferred into the hands of great medical staff.Â **Continued in comments*
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Notable part 4: In the following days I was in disbelief that Nicks transceiver had turned off. The experience left me questioning the Integrity of the Pieps DSPpro. A few days after the incident I sent a email to the guiding community enquiring about similar experiences or issues with this device. I was surprised to see my email flooded with similar accounts, even dating back to 2017. â ï¸The problem being it can switch modes easily without the userâs knowledgeâ ï¸ Due to poor design the button wears out and no longer provides resistance allowing it to slide out of send mode. We suspect the impact from Nick being dragged through the trees switched his to off, burdening us with a full burial with no signal. This only confirmed our lack of confidence in the device, a piece of equipment that is paramount to the safety of backcountry riders. We as a community should not question the reliability of rescue gear and should demand industry standards. Nick has been in conversation with Black Diamond/Pieps with hopes of a product recall of the Pieps DSP pro/sport models and dismantling sales of this product. No recall has been publicly communicated and this device is still for sale online. Our main goal is to get this device off of users in the ski industry, so this doesnât happen again and again. â¢If you or someone you know owns one I would suggest contacting BD/Pieps warranty and request a replacement upgrade model. â¢If youâre in the market for a new transceiver Iâd suggest a Mammute barryvox #notsponsored I think itâs a premium product. â¢Whatever gear youâve acquired use it properly. Wear it properly. Practice all and every scenarios so when shit hits the fan you can be there for your partners. â¢Take avalanche training courses. â¢Hire a guide! Lots will be looking for work this winter. â¢Find a mentor. â¢Do a mandatory morning transceiver check. â¢Acquire a backcountry communication device. The list goes on ... but I hope this has been helpful. Stay tuned as @nickmcnutt & @ianmcintosh will also be sharing more in the coming weeks! Be safe have fun âï¸ð **If you have any questions please DM me Iâm happy to chat. ð· @eparkerphoto_ & @lesliehittmeier
Pieps har som svar på kritiken påpekat att deras transciervers uppfyller rådande normer och att man i laboratorium kunnat testa produkten felfritt. De påpekar dock att transcievern inte ska utsättas för yttre våld.
Pieps har mött den uppkomna kritiken på Instagram:
We have received inquiries about the design and safety of the Pieps DSP Sport and DSP Pro avalanche beacons.
These beacons have undergone vigorous testing and exceed all certification standards. They have been sold globally since 2014 and used by countless backcountry travellers ever since.
A beacon is a personal safety tool which must be properly used and maintained. Any misuse may compromise its functionality. Please refer to the video on the fourth slide for how to inspect your beacon.
Your safety in the backcountry is our top priority. Please reach out to Black Diamond Equipment in North America and Pieps in Europe if you need further information or if you are unsure how to verify the condition of your beacon.
I ett uttalande till TGR förklarar Rick Vance, Black Diamond (Pieps moderbolag) att:
We've tested the life cycle of the lock button multiple times and found that in a lab environment that lock button survives more cycles than the crustiest ski patroller could put on it. We're talking on the order of 100,000 cycles. The lock switch can be forcefully overridden hundreds of times before it begins to show cracks.
Det faktum att on/off-knappen kan vridas om med våld flera hundra gånger utan att plasten i låsmekanismen spricker är kanske inte en garanti för att produkten är felfri. Tvärtom är det precis det konstruktionsproblemet som nu uppmärksammats.
TGR's filmare Ben Dann som var med vid händelsen tillägger att det kan vara läge att höja standarden för hur transceivers ska konstrueras. "It (Pieps) isn't the only beacon on the market that has had some issues. I think this is a great opportunity to rewrite the standards beacons need to meet across the board going forward. When beacons need to be used to save a life there are generally a ton of variables...an on/off switch should not be one of them."
TGR's rapportering av händelsen, tillsammans med kommentarer från ansvariga på Pieps, kan du läsa här.