BC Banter: RECCO Announces Year-Round Search and Rescue System, Marolt Bros Deliver Solar Chargers to Nepal, Black Diamond Issues JetForce Recall and Serious Storms Hit Chile



RECCO Helicopter Search and Rescue detector -SAR 1 [Photo] Courtesy RECCO

LIDINGO, SWEDEN Swedish safety company RECCO has announced plans to launch their RECCO Helicopter and Search and Rescue detector, -SAR 1, in the summer of 2016 in key geographic regions of Europe. For more than 30 years, professionals have used RECCO’s handheld rescue system to locate people caught in avalanches. Now, RECCO hopes to revolutionize mountain rescue with the new SAR 1 detector, designed to perform rapid searches for people missing in mountains, forests and water. The RECCO SAR 1 can fly up to 130 km per hour and search approximately the equivalent of 30 soccer fields per minute. Apparel and equipment companies have released products with battery-less reflectors so that lost adventurers wearing their equipment can be detected by the RECCO SAR 1. “We see this as a start of a new era in search and rescue in the wilderness where everyone can be searchable should something go wrong,” says RECCO’s Vice President, Johan Sauers. Read more about the RECCO SAR 1 here and watch a video about the technology behind the helicopter-enabled detector system here.


ASPEN, COLO. In the aftermath of the Nepal earthquake, Aspen natives Steve and Mike Marolt organized a relief effort to deliver solar chargers to remote Sherpa villages. The brothers called upon friends to raise the $50,000 needed to purchase 96 solar chargers, which they bought from Aspect Solar and shipped to Nepal three weeks ago. Accomplished Himalayan climbers Ed Viesturs and Peter Athans—both of whom were active in relief work in Nepal prior to the earthquake—helped the Marolts coordinate their efforts to fundraise and distribute the chargers. Leisl Clark, a filmmaker friend of the Marolts, connected the brothers with Person 2 Person 4 Nepal, a non-profit organization that helped the Marolts avoid government imposed tariffs and controlled distribution of the chargers. The brothers recently raised an additional $10,000 to purchase 35 smaller solar chargers, which will be shipped to Nepal. The Marolts will continue their aid by launching a pilot project in association with Aspect Solar to help rebuild a village with a solar charger large enough to power all of its lighting. Read more about the Marolts’ project in the Aspen Times.



An athlete sporting Black Diamond’s JetForce pack. [Photo] Courtesy Black Diamond Equipment

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH On July 9, Black Diamond Equipment issued a voluntary recall of all first generation JetForce avalanche airbag backpacks bought between November 15, 2014 and July 7, 2015. According to Black Diamond, in a limited number of cases the JetForce packs sold by Black Diamond, Pieps and POC have experienced system malfunctions resulting in involuntary shutdown or failure to deploy. Black Diamond encourages all JetForce owners to visit jetforcerecall.com for information regarding returning packs for a required firmware update they say will resolve all issues. Since November 2014, Pieps, POC and Black Diamond have made six backpacks that incorporate the JetForce airbag system, which uses a battery-powered fan to inflate the 200-liter airbag. “While there have been no accidents involving any JetForce Technology packs, our commitment to our users’ safety leads us to issue this recall to make the required firmware update on all packs,” said Peter Metcalf, President and CEO of Black Diamond Inc., in a press release. Read more about the JetForce Airbag Recall here.

Serious Storms to Hit Chile


A skier cruising through bluebird pow in Valle Nevado, Chile [Photo] Courtesy Sass Global Travel

VALLE NEVADO, CHILE Valle Nevado—a ski resort located in the El Polmo foothills of the Andes Mountains—is forecasted to get hit by a mega snowstorm this weekend. Snow-Forecast is calling for 25 inches on Friday, followed by 38 inches on Saturday, 44 inches on Sunday and 2-3 inches on Monday. Despite temperatures well below freezing, this powder-filled weekend should be one for the books. Read more about the winter weather at snow-forecast.com.

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