Without your beacon chance of not finding your body until Spring thaw goes up tremendously. SAR and your partners can at least recover the body without putting them in jeopardy which doing a pole line jeopardizes everyone in it from another slide. OF course a beacon won't prevent an avalanche only way to prevent an avalanche is not to even be on the slope. They were definitely fools for not beeping but I still feel for the guy since his wife was killed. You can stay alive on average they say 15 minutes under the snow if you are buried, but you would most likely have lost a ton a brain cells.