|Please join us at the 23rd annual Black Diamond Fall Fundraiser Party. Tickets are on sale now here (online Will Call Tickets only - paper tickets will be at the BD store and at REI about mid-August)|
There are a number of recently released smartphone apps which are designed to make smartphones usable as an avalanche transceiver.
At the current time, we at the UAC do not endorse using any of these apps in place of an avalanche transceiver. These apps are still in their infancy, they are unregulated and they DO NOT MEET INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS FOR AVALANCHE TRANSCEIVERS.
I personally encourage innovation and perhaps with more prototyping and testing a smartphone avalanche transceiver app may be a viable tool, however, the smartphones themselves seem to present obstacles that will be hard to overcome. Myself and Bruce briefly tested a prototype app that showed the ability for the phone to somewhat act like an older analog transceiver but by no means would we trust using it in place of an avalanche transceiver at this time.
The Canadian Avalanche Center published a paper with their opinions on the apps, which is below.
Bottom line: Get a real avalanche beacon if you want to be found. Our partners at Backcountry.com have a great selection and when you purchase through this link, they donate a portion of the sales price to the Utah Avalanche Center.