We have completed our update for this season on G3 (Genuine Guide Gear) and Pieps products. Here is what is new, what is changed, and what is the same:

(Links should all open in the same new window, if you view a linked page from our store and leave that window open any other links you follow from this update should appear there also.)

G3 Probes: This is the primary change for G3 products. The entire recreational probe line has been updated. There are fewer lengths. The aluminum probes are now limited to the most popular 240 and 320 lengths and the carbon probes come in 190 and 300 lengths. All probes now have depth markings, there are no longer separate models with and without this feature.

All of the recreational probes now have a quick-pull locking mechanism along the lines of most other product lines. Prices have also been reduced to be more competitive with other models.

The industrial and solid probes are unchanged. The industrial is still available in non-tech and tech versions (without and with depth markings) and still have the screw-down plate locking mechanism. The solid probe is also unchanged and consists of segments that screw together. (This is extremely heavy-duty and heavy, we have sold a few now and then primarily for research in Antarctica.)

G3 Shovels: The shovel line is unchanged but has come down in price to be more competitive in this regard. They still make the Avi-Tech and the Spade-Tech with a choice of T or D handles.

G3 Accessories: The Bone Saw and the popular Rutschblock Cord are unchanged in style and price.

G3 Other Items: As an avalanche center we only carry the avalanche products on our website. However, we are a full G3 dealer and can order any of their items for you. We will match anyone's price, as we do on all products. If you're interested in their skis, bindings, climbing skins or other products contact us.

We have been a G3 dealer since their beginnings when the avalanche probes and a rock climbing cheater-stick were their only products. They've come a long way since then!

Pieps Products

The Pieps DSP is mostly unchanged. The latest firmware is 8.2 but the only thing this adds is functionality with the gear and doggie transmitter which works on a secondary frequency (and is not yet available). No other changes are incorporated into this new firmware.

The Pieps DSP Tour is a lower cost version of the DSP. It lacks the scan function and the gear/doggie function but has all other features including iProbe support.

The two versions of the DSP have created some pricing issues for Pieps, and therefore for dealers. The full DSP has been readily available for $340 and up, and sometimes less, on ebay and elsewhere. The retail price they want it sold at is $450. They are trying to eliminate all discount sales, and going to extremes to do so. We have auctioned one at a time and it has resulted in many repeat sales, often from customers who liked the first one they bought for themselves. Our auctioned beacons often went for a high bid above what some places sell them for with a buy-it-now option and no limit on quantity. We terminated our auctions but posted a buy-it-now sale for $450 with a notice that we would beat any other price and were told we cannot do this.

As of mid-November we have no way to promote the product, all we can do is post it on our own store for $450 and hope somebody will come to us looking for one. There are still several places selling them for $340 or so and it seems unlikely we will sell many at this time. While we cannot post any price other than the $450 we can wheel and deal behind the scenes and we will match or beat any other price as well as bargain on quantities.

Efforts at price-fixing by various companies in the past have generally not worked out and we will just wait this out and see how it pans out. The introduction of the Tour obviously creates a dilemma since it is supposed to sell for $350 and it remains easy to find the full DSP for this amount.

In addition to the DSP models there is a backup transmitter and a beacon checker which have been added to our store. The backup will transmit only if there is no other transmission by any other beacon within range and also no motion. It is for a situation such as a secondary avalanche. The checker is a small device useful for making sure beacons are transmitting before and during a tour or trip.

We also now have the iProbe posted in two lengths. The iProbe can indicate when your probing is close to a buried beacon and if a beacon supports the iProbe it can be turned off as the digging begins. This allows the search to continue for other buried beacons with less confusion.

There are a few Pieps products not yet available that may be later in the season. There will be a new high-end beacon called the Vector, the gear/doggie transmitter, and an emergency locator device.

Hopefully we will have additional updates soon, we are clearly behind on this given that it is mid-November. We've had more interest in the ABS flotation packs but have not updated that line yet, and the Ortovox line has only been partially updated.