You really do not need to carry avy gear if riding in controlled controlled inbounds terrain. The control work patrol does before opening any terrain is extensive. You mention side country...I would carry the gear here.
Now, having said that, daily conditions can change this as well as where you ride. On groomers, zero need; off piste can be a different story as even a very small slough could bury you. When it dumps at Mt. Hood Meadows and I am going to hit the bowls or Heather, I will strap on a beacon and carry the basic shovel and probe. I only do this if riding our gated off piste areas though.
That's exactly what I do....and Kirkwood is deserted durning the week....you're often alone.
Last time I had to backtrack off a slope that was dangerously loaded....stepped off the board to climb back up and was waist deep instantly...making those 10 feet to the top took me a while. and made me realize the huge mass of snow I was into....waist to chest deep.
And that was inbound.
sidecountry was worst...with up to 15/20 feet of blown powder accumulated between the trees.
Now, showel and probe are effective if you have a partner that has them too...I ride alone..should I just get the Avalung?
2015/16 -3- Kirkwood days
Arbor A-Frame 158 2009-10
Jeremy Jones Hovercraft 156, 2011/12
Subaru WRX 06
Last edited by KIRKRIDER; 01-20-2011 at 05:34 PM.