1. There's more to this forum than meets the eye!

    We have a vibrant community here conversing about all sorts of non-snow topics such as music, sport, politics and technology. Simply register to reveal all our Après topics.

    NOTE: This notice may be closed.

    Dismiss Notice

Resource Pieps DSP Failed to Perform What is was Specifically Designed to do (Black Diamond) - Stay Safe

Discussion in 'Snow Talk' started by Frank V. Pearsall, Oct 18, 2020.

  1. Frank V. Pearsall

    Frank V. Pearsall Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2019
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Ohio

    Please share and stay safe everyone


    [​IMG]


    Hey friends,
    While I’ve been largely off social lately, I realize the potential it has to harness change. So here I am, making an appeal.

    As most of you know, my late husband, Corey Lynam died in an avalanche at Hanging Lake near Whistler in March 2017. At the time of the accident, he was using the Pieps DSP avalanche beacon - a device designed for “fast, accurate searches in the event of a slide.” But in Corey’s accident, his beacon failed.

    Fellow backcountry skiers couldn’t locate him because of the fundamental design flaw which turned the beacon into the wrong mode during the avalanche. It took upwards of 40 people, rescue crews and dogs to locate him, but after 4+ hours buried, it was too late and he passed away. The Pieps DSP failed to perform what it was specifically designed to do - save Corey’s life or at least give him a fighting chance.

    With the help of lawyers, I notified Black Diamond (owners of the Pieps beacon) in writing and asked for an official recall in 2017 due to the obvious design flaw. Black Diamond stated they were doing an internal investigation but never got back to me, answered my calls or recalled the beacon. It’s still out there and widely used.

    I was advised at the time that posting about it or going to the media would open me up for a potential suit from Black Diamond. At the time, I was a newly single mother, trying to make ends meet and navigate how the hell I was going to move forward with my life. The thought of that scared me and I felt silenced. So instead, I went from store to store that sold the beacon trying to get it off the shelves, sharing Corey’s story, but most people I spoke to said that if there wasn’t an official recall, they wouldn’t be willing to lose the revenue from the beacon - it was a best seller... Corey’s death and my experience weren’t enough. It was gutting. So, each year, as the season changes to winter, I hold my breath and wait for the first of the avalanches, praying that the next one isn’t a skier wearing the Pieps beacon.

    But last winter, it happened. A pro skier, Nick McNutt, was wearing the Pieps beacon and was caught in an avalanche. Similarly to Corey, the design flaw was clear. The beacon slide into the wrong mode and the rest of the team wasn’t able to get a signal. If it wasn’t for the fact that he was being filmed, they wouldn’t have been able to locate him with probes as quickly as they did.

    Since then, he and fellow pro skiers, including Christina Lusti (who has made several recent posts in frustration), have also contacted Black Diamond about the design flaw and have been spreading the word to the backcountry community. Black Diamond claimed Nick’s accident was the first they’d heard of where the beacon switched modes. They failed to acknowledge my letter (which they legally have to keep on file) or Corey's accident. They have been dragging their heels and not responding to the call for a recall from me and from Nick and countless other members of the backcountry community. More and more people are coming forward with accounts of their beacons switching modes.

    And now, another ski seasons upon us. Only this year, with Covid and resorts limiting access, the backcountry is going to be busier than ever, causing people to push further and further out. I’m scared for this season. I’m terrified of this happening to someone else. And I’m sick of being scared silent. So please, friends, spread the word to your friends who backcountry ski. Let’s get this beacon off the shelves and recalled!!!

    Nick and Christina’s posts on their accident:
    https://www.instagram.com/p/CGKiX6FnesY/...

    Here’s a video Black Diamond made as a weak attempt to try cover themselves:
    https://www.instagram.com/p/CGT6EzAlgLn/?igshid=8u4rl1ik7ux6


    All the best,
    Stay Safe.
    Frank@snowgaper.com
     
  2. crackson

    crackson Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2006
    Messages:
    10,290
    Likes Received:
    8,430
    Location:
    Snowy Mountains
    Thankyou for the warning.

    Was unaware of this.
     
  3. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2002
    Messages:
    65,940
    Likes Received:
    45,471
    Location:
    Mountains
    This topic has really taken off on social media this week. I have a DPS Sport.
     
    nezumi, crackson and Chaeron like this.
  4. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Messages:
    31,064
    Likes Received:
    27,500
    Location:
    Perth
    I’ve had pros.
    Was really happy with the ease of use but the warranty and longevity didn’t work for me -
    Lost two. And really had zero assistance getting warranty or repairs sorted.

    I can see how in the force of an avi that switch might be forced but certainly haven’t had it switch modes on me before.
    I read the BD report on testing post incident and they seem to think it’s less likely to fail than other brands. Who knows. Good stuff to be aware of but I wouldn’t be ditching your beacons in the basis of this incident and the social media storm around it. I’d be conscious of ensuring the switch is locked in and the beacon in its neoprene pouch covering the switch though.
     
  5. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2002
    Messages:
    65,940
    Likes Received:
    45,471
    Location:
    Mountains
    Well yes. It will be an interesting study on social media storms and there outcomes.
     
  6. DPS Driver

    DPS Driver A Local

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2014
    Messages:
    5,051
    Likes Received:
    5,420
    It only needs one death or incidence of failure to warrant a rethink and now there are several. It's a life saving device and if it's failing in that task, then it should be recalled. The fact that BD and Pieps both were aware of a potential issue and didn't disclose it isn't a good look.

    I don't have a Pieps and certainly wouldn't be buying one with this issue hanging over their head.

    Avalanches are violent things and even having your transceiver in it's pouch isn't a safe bet. There's a lot of pressure and movement when being tumbled by snow which could easily find a weakness in any design.
     
    nezumi, crackson and dawooduck like this.
  7. piolet

    piolet Better make it three Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 27, 2004
    Messages:
    33,954
    Likes Received:
    38,783
    Location:
    in the cupboard covered in dust
    I'll have to pull my DSP sport out to look again. The switch release could certainly be better designed but it's pretty snug it its harness.
    I note in france that many just pop the beacon in a pocket with no case.
     
    LMB and Chaeron like this.
  8. iGlenn

    iGlenn Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Messages:
    341
    Likes Received:
    33
    Just noticed that Pieps are now offering an upgrade to their newer model if you have concerns with your current DSP Sports/Pro.

    I wonder how this will be handled in Australia? Does anyone know the local distributor or will this all have to be done via US/Europe? I've got 2 sports that I really don't have confidence in seeing this problem firsthand.
     
    LMB, crackson, skifree and 2 others like this.
  9. piolet

    piolet Better make it three Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 27, 2004
    Messages:
    33,954
    Likes Received:
    38,783
    Location:
    in the cupboard covered in dust
    What's the latest model differences?

    Bought mine in france....
     
  10. DPS Driver

    DPS Driver A Local

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2014
    Messages:
    5,051
    Likes Received:
    5,420
    So they'll sell you a new Pieps????? Big of them.
     
    qwill likes this.
  11. hatto

    hatto One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2006
    Messages:
    1,370
    Likes Received:
    616
    I have 3 so will follow but I have always put a thick strong lacky band around the switch to hold tighter in place. Whether it would work in a slide i don't know.o_O
     
  12. hatto

    hatto One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2006
    Messages:
    1,370
    Likes Received:
    616
    Shiteshow going to happen with this.
    A response of " send us your details to the problem with our product" is just stupid. At the moment it dosen't have a problem, but if in an avalanche it might have one and then it may be too late
     
    crackson likes this.
  13. piolet

    piolet Better make it three Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 27, 2004
    Messages:
    33,954
    Likes Received:
    38,783
    Location:
    in the cupboard covered in dust
    Yeah that was my impression. Not much of a plan.
    They need to take point.
     
    crackson likes this.
  14. DPS Driver

    DPS Driver A Local

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2014
    Messages:
    5,051
    Likes Received:
    5,420
    Here is an example of how not to handle a product issue. Pieps are a good product, this is an issue with older products still in the market. Owing to the narrow market globally and the number of competitors, I would imagine making a $ would be challenging at the best of times. Taking all of this into consideration, I can understand their hesitance to recall the product. That being said surely they could have handled this far more effectively.

    This smells of legal advice guiding the way, so as to try and avoid any possible legal battles regarding deaths resulting from faulty devices.
     
    #14 DPS Driver, Oct 23, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2020
    crackson likes this.
  15. piolet

    piolet Better make it three Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 27, 2004
    Messages:
    33,954
    Likes Received:
    38,783
    Location:
    in the cupboard covered in dust
    So late model DSPs are more secure?
     
  16. piolet

    piolet Better make it three Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 27, 2004
    Messages:
    33,954
    Likes Received:
    38,783
    Location:
    in the cupboard covered in dust
    What killed chouinard.....
     
  17. DPS Driver

    DPS Driver A Local

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2014
    Messages:
    5,051
    Likes Received:
    5,420
    Yes. I believe so. It's just the DSP Pro and Sport which are affected. At this point in time???
     
    piolet likes this.
  18. DPS Driver

    DPS Driver A Local

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2014
    Messages:
    5,051
    Likes Received:
    5,420
    Yes, Yvon Chouinard didn't like being exposed like that, so shut 'er down boys. The timing was perfect for him, he'd already realised there was far more money to be made in clothing and as we know, it worked out OK for Yvon & Patagonia didn't it.
     
    piolet likes this.
  19. iGlenn

    iGlenn Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Messages:
    341
    Likes Received:
    33
    I sent an email to Pieps specifically asking how this would be handled in Australia as I have two I would like to have upgraded.
    I got a boilerplate email back saying safety is their number one priority yada Yada, and gave me places to send them for assessment if I'm in North America or Europe. Useless!
     
    LMB and skifree like this.
  20. piolet

    piolet Better make it three Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 27, 2004
    Messages:
    33,954
    Likes Received:
    38,783
    Location:
    in the cupboard covered in dust
  21. crackson

    crackson Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2006
    Messages:
    10,290
    Likes Received:
    8,430
    Location:
    Snowy Mountains
    It's called protecting past profits by working to an absolute minimum on problem resolution.
     
  22. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Messages:
    31,064
    Likes Received:
    27,500
    Location:
    Perth
    Same issue we had when ours broke.