Besides a little common sense and a buddy or two, there are three items that are absolutely essential for any adventure into the backcountry: a shovel, a probe, and an avalanche beacon.
These non-negotiables fall into the category of things you never want to have to use, but in an unfortunate circumstance you must know how to use them and they have to work. And while it may be summer up here in the Northern Hemisphere, meaning thoughts of early-morning skin tracks are a distant dream, a recent recall order from ORTOVOX may require you to pull out your winter gear to ensure you’re either 1) not impacted or 2) take the necessary steps to resolve an issue to stay safe on your next outing, no matter how many months away it might be.
According to ORTOVOX’s website, all 3+ transceivers running software version 2.1 could be impacted by a “temporary disruption of the transmission function,” resulting in delayed search and rescue operations.
The software issue was revealed by ORTOVOX’s Safety Academy Partners, and according to their site has not resulted in any known accidents. Still, the company is asking that any devices running the bad software upgrade to software 2.2.
“Devices affected by the recall may no longer be used without the required software update to version 2.2.,” explains ORTOVOX. “This precautionary recall applies exclusively to ORTOVOX 3+ avalanche transceivers running software version 2.1. – no matter what color.”
Devices running earlier software versions are not affected.
If you own an ORTOVOX 3+, here’s a helpful little video to determine what software it’s running.
And if a buddy has one (or even if you don’t know what beacon they’re using) please share, and stay safe!