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What is the RECCO System?

The RECCO® system is a two part avalanche victim location system.  Development of the system began in the 70s and we are at the time of writing on the 9th generation. [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="RECCO Reflector"][/caption] Any skier or boarder going off piste wearing a RECCO reflector can aid rescue teams locate you if you become trapped in the snow. The reflector can be mounted on your boots, helmet or more generally sewn into your ski jacket or salopettes. The reflector requires no maintenance or batteries so its lifespan is pretty much indefinite. Being a reflector it is advisable to wear multiple units to aid in location as the signal has to “bounce” off the reflector to get a reading on the rescuers locating unit. [caption id="attachment_822" align="alignright" width="300" caption="RECCO Locator"]
[/caption]       The second part of the system is the handheld radar unit used by rescue teams at many resorts worldwide.  Weighing less than a kilo these units are easily handled by rescuers with little encumbrance. They can be used whilst on the ground or from air on low flying rescue helicopters. [caption id="attachment_823" align="alignleft" width="229" caption="RECCO how it works"][/caption] As a keen skier I have to question why you would not want a reflector (or two) in your ski wear whilst on the slopes. Even on established pistes, why not? I am a great believer in these reflectors being sewn in as you cannot forget them. Certainly those going off piste should definitely have these and in higher risk areas consider wearing an avalanche transceiver too. Click on this link to check out ski wear with RECCO Coming soon: We will discuss what to do if you should become caught in an avalanche.