Ive seen people using walkie talkies on long alpine routes, anybody have any experience of using them in Scottish winter... if so how’d they go on and what is the best brand/model for Scottish winter use.
I've used Motorola Talkr T7s for a few years now and they're great on longer routes, especially when the wind's up and you can't hear shouts. Pull sequences on the ropes are all well and good but it's good to be able to communicate properly! No issues with waterproofing etc and I don't bother with headsets.
Niceone mate I’ll have a look at them. Yeah we nearly had an incident last winter with rope pulls whilst in bad weather on the Douglas boulder, so I thought it would be sensible to get some.
Not what you asked for, but I've used my daughters' pink £5 Wilko's ones on noisy sea cliffs. They were great.
I've had a few Motorolas over the years and you can't really go wrong. I'd avoid the unbranded cheepo Amazon and ebay options, especially with the humidity you see in Scottish climbing.
Another option I’ve seen is the Bluetooth helmet-mounting comms kits used by motor bikers and arborists. Some are waterproof and have pretty good range. Can also be used hands free which I would think was a definite advantage in this context!!
i don’t have a specific brand to recommend but I would look at what arborists are buying as they have a hard life.
Motorola T82 Extreme - at the more expensive end of the scale, but are IPX4 weatherproof, USB rechargeable, and clip securely to rucksack straps. They have been great. On winter multi-pitch and big alpine stuff - they make life so much easier. A no brainer.
Don't buy binatone. They eventually insist on doing nothing but bleep constantly to waste whatever power they might have left, and the beep blocks you when you're trying to talk. I understand the need for a low battery warning but they've done it in a way that makes you destroy them violently in revenge and buy another brand.
Not sure if they're available in the UK, but I use some Zodiac Micro 446s, which work great. They're tiny. Weigh 60g each. They hang them on a neck cord when climbing. There's a waterproof version but it's slightly larger and without the neck cord.
We have a pair of Motorola T82 Extremes. We did have cheaper Moterola's originally but they didn't last long. Paid a bit more for a more weatherproof option, but we tbh we normally just use a tug based system. Though it's handy be able to communicate clearly on sea cliffs and it does add a saftey net.
Though be warned, my GF and I were once on a sea cliff. Due to the offwidth nature of the pitch an a poor choice of attire, progress was barred. This steadily became on argument of sorts over the radio's. Little did we know a couple a couple of coast guards had been tipped of in the pub, by a runner that had seen we'd been on the route for a while. Anyway they realised we were using radios and I'm pretty sure they'd tuned into our frequency and listened to our 'debate', before comming over to ask if all was well (just as we were finally topping out).
I have a pair of Motorolas that cost $10 about 20 years ago. They work fine, in all weathers. All they need is a range of 60m. If the two of you are separated by a big arete they are unlikely to work, but nothing that is contextually appropriate will.
Some years ago, another pair on a route on a wild day in Scotland took the piss out of us an dour radios. A few hours later, sharing a stance, with the blizzard going full pelt, ropes flailing all over the place, and limited visibility, the other party was bellowing into the gale and achieving nothing. I meanwhile, chatting to my partner on the radio, let a suitable amount of time elapse before asking if they would like us to pass a message for them. Revenge is a dish best served cold....
I bought a set of Motorola XT460s on eBay for reasonably cheap and they are pretty bomb proof. My mate dropped one from halfway up Main Wall a few weeks ago and I found it at the bottom later without a mark on it!
Thanks for the advice, I think I’ll invest in T82 extremes.
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