Most backcountry skiers and freeriders have hung up their ski boots for this season. And while some are still making the most of the unusually abundant snow that remains higher up, the ski season in general is now slowly drawing to a close. It’s time to give all your winter safety equipment a final check and get it correctly stored and ready for the next season.
When the season has just ended, it’s the perfect time to run a full check on all your winter safety equipment: PIEPS beacon, iPROBE, Jetforce Airbag etc. or to have your PIEPS device inspected by a professional.
Firstly, you’ll want to store your winter safety equipment properly, so that when the first snows come next season you don’t get any nasty surprises – think dead batteries. And secondly, you’ll have time to send your equipment to PIEPS for a service if needed, and won’t need to worry about missing the first day of pow – which is always the best one of the season.
So, in addition to cleaning your skins, waxing your bases and loosening off your binding tension, it’s important to give your avalanche safety equipment some attention too, before putting it away for the summer. So what do you need to do?
Ganz allgemein gilt für jeden Ausrüstungsgegenstand:
1. Visual inspection
This involves taking a close look at the equipment and checking for dirt, signs of wear, cracks etc.
2. Functional check
All switches, connections, hinges, buckles etc. should be operationally tested, in the same way as they would be when in use. For electronic devices (PIEPS beacon, Jetforce, iPROBE), you should run through all the setting modes and carry out a full self-test. You can also do this via the PIEPS APP, since nearly all PIEPS devices now have Bluetooth connectivity.
3. Remove batteries (except in the PIEPS Jetforce – leave Li-Ion batteries in the device).
Batteries should be removed from an avalanche transceiver before putting it away for the summer months. These can then be used in other electronic devices like your TV remote etc. but should not be used in your transceiver next season. It’s always better to start a new season with new batteries. The Lithium-Ion battery in the PIEPS Jetforce should be stored in the device and in accordance with the instruction manual (not fully charged).
Clean all your equipment, remove any energy bars etc. from your backpack, and then store it in a clean, dry space. By storing your shovel, probe and beacon inside your winter/airbag pack, you’ll have it all in one place and ready to grab-and-go next season.
5. Send devices to the PIEPS service department
If you come across a problem while carrying out a check, you can send the device to PIEPS to be inspected and fixed, or hand it in at your nearest retail store. This should be done as standard after the recommended period of use. If you are uncertain that everything is OK, or would like someone else to carry out the inspection, then contact your specialist retail outlet or the manufacturer (in this case, PIEPS). Now that the season is over, we’re not under so much time pressure.