Avalanche safety has come on a long way in recent years, but here’s a piece that honours the past as much as it lights the way of the future. The Mammut BarryvoxS avalanche transceiver is named for Barry, a legendary Swiss mountain rescue dog that saved dozens of lives in the early 19th century.

The Mammut BarryvoxS (the ‘S’ stands for ‘Smart’) replaces the Pulse Barryvox, and represents a major upgrade in terms of both performance and ease of use. At first glance you’ll notice that the display has been completely overhauled, and we’ll get to that in a minute.

First, though, it’s important to mention that the range has been increased, and now covers up to 70 metres.It’s not a huge improvement over the Pulse, but every little helps. It also picks up signals faster than its predecessor, and is better at dealing with multiple burials. The marking function remains, as is the automatic switch back to Send mode should you get caught in a follow-up slide.

"The improvement to the ‘fine search’ stage has the potential to save you a great deal of time"

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The biggest improvement in this bleeper’s performance can be seen when you get to the ‘fine search’ stage. The sensors are able to narrow down your search area a lot more that what we’ve been used to, which has the potential to save you a great deal of time.

"Another advance in the never-ending quest for improved avalanche safety, the Mammut BarryvoxS is a very impressive piece of kit"

As for functionality, the Mammut BarryvoxS has a large backlit display that’s visible even when wearing polarised glasses or goggles. The display is unlike any we’ve seen before, with almost cartoonish depictions of a rescuer carrying out a search, but it’s all been designed for easy follow - and in a high-pressure situation that can affect your powers of recollection, it’s useful to have things laid out in simple terms.

Further help comes from intuitive audio prompts, as well as easy functionality on the transceiver itself. A scroller on the side helps you navigate between functions, and there’s a straightforward one-button interface on the front. Everything can be done whilst still wearing gloves, too.

Another advance in the never-ending quest for improved avalanche safety, the Mammut BarryvoxS avalanche transceiver is a very impressive piece of kit. Not as cuddly as a St. Bernard, but far more likely to save a life in the backcountry.

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