B.A.R.K. Beacon Basin - Transceiver Training Park

What is Beacon Basin? 

It is a transceiver training park designed for backcountry enthusiasts to practice simulated avalanche searches using their own beacon/transceiver and probe. Beacon Basin features an EZ Searcher System which is fully automated and will facilitate simulated searches for up to four buried ‘victims’. Users can also set up 3 different modes of search practice, from easy to difficult.  The EZ Searcher system was generously purchased, and is managed by the Alpental B.A.R.K., a local non-profit dedicated to the support and training of Avalanche Dogs used in avalanche search and rescue, as well as generally supporting avalanche education.

Where is Beacon Basin?

The transceiver training park is located across from the main parking lot (serviced by the wooden bridge to the Alpental base area) at the Alpental Ski Area. Access is via the slope adjacent to the Snow Lake Trailhead with the training park located immediately to the right once setting up-hill on the trail about 15 yards. It is usually quite visible to your right as you set off up-hill. The EZ Searcher control box is located on a large, wooden pole on the lower end of the training park just above the Alpental road.

When is Beacon Basin open?

The transceiver training park is intended to be always available for use during Alpental ski area winter operations. However, there must be sufficient snow. It is a self-service, fully automated, simulated search system complete with solar power.

How does the EZ Searcher System work?

The system works in an automated mode with the user dictating what they’d like to practice. Once the user decides the difficulty level of their search practice, they proceed to locate ‘buried victims’. A flashing light will be activated on each successful find using both a beacon to locate the burial spot and then a probe to actually successfully strike the ‘victim’.  The light is located above the EZ Searcher control box.

Please note:  We respectfully ask that users not dig up the practice targets/strike pads as the practice park is set up only as a search and locate system. Digging is absolutely not permitted. The targets are transmitters only and are not actual beacons/transceivers.