Winter is here, and with it comes winter related sports and activities. Skiing is popular this time of year and it's a peak period for many ski resorts. They are generally packed, particularly on the weekends, with multitudes of seasoned and novice skiers alike hitting the slopes for a short vacation getaway. On such occasions, having a two way radio isn't a luxury, it's an indispensable asset. David can attest to that.
David is an avid skier who skims down the slopes on weekend jaunts. Recently David went on a weekend ski trip to Sugar Mountain with a group of his friends. The party of six stayed in a slope side condo his friend owns on the east side of the mountain. They packed their skis and plenty of warm clothes in anticipation of a fun-filled getaway in the cold mountain air.
They also took along some Midland GXT1000 two way radios.
The 115 acre ski resort of Sugar Mountain is located on the 4,400 ft. high peak in Banner Elk, North Carolina. It features 20 slopes and trails for skiing at all levels of expertise. In addition to the slopes, Sugar Mountain offers snowboarding, ice skating, tubing, shopping and snowshoeing. It's a family friendly resort with activities for everyone who enjoys winter sports; with so much to do, keeping track of everyone as a group can be a challenge.
For that reason, according to David, taking the Midland radios was a logical decision. "Lots of times the group dissipates", David explained." You end up eating by yourself and skiing by yourself because you can't find the rest of your group".
However, David made it clear the decision to carry two way radios wasn't just for convenience. It was for safety and security, as well. "You want everyone to know where you are," David pointed out. "If you get injured you want to be able to tell your friends you are at the infirmary."
David observed the Sugar Mountain Ski Patrol uses Kenwood radios, such as the TK- 3300 . Although he considers the 3300 a good radio, he prefers the Midland GXT1000 on the slopes instead. "Having the 28 additional preset channels allows you to tell your group to go to channels 23-50 when the chatter gets to be too much on the normal GMRS channels," David noted. "The GXT1000 radios are waterproof, too, so if you fall down a lot and get wet you don't have to worry about your radio."
David said when he reached the top of the slope he would call to find out where everybody was. Typically, his group would be in various spots around the mountain. At the top of the mountain his GXT1000 had optimal coverage over the entire area as everything below him was in line of sight, with nothing to obstruct the signal. He said some members of his party had varying degrees of success with the signal, depending on where they were in relation to each other along the slope and what buildings or other obstructions were in the way. However, at the top he had great reception and could hear them all quite clearly.
The one drawback of carrying a two way radio on the slopes, lamented David, was the chore of having to constantly pull out the radio from his jacket to make a call. He had a hands-free headset for his GXT1000 radio but was unable to wear it. "A Lot of resorts will not allow headsets on the slopes", he said. But he has a solution. "Next time I go I will definitely carry a speaker mic".
Overall, David concluded, taking a radio on the ski trip to Sugar Mountain was a great idea and one he plans to implement on future excursions. "It was definitely an asset, absolutely", he asserted. "It kept the group together and saved us a lot of aggravation and a lot of time keeping up with everybody".