I’m going Skiing in November and I’m looking for a Good Two-Way Radio Set. Any Suggestions?

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Lemme get this straight, you live in Spain (where all the nice weather is) and you want to go on holiday to a cold, snowy place? To quote the great French thinker Obelix, “These Romans are crazy!” However, I shall answer your question, but only if you send me a postcard from your trip!

Well, I actually have bad news for you. When I wrote the piece above, I was all set to get online and find you a bargain. However, a little bit of research (together with some applied common sense) tells me that there actually aren’t any radios around (or at least commercially available) that are specifically adapted to skiing (or any mountainous activity, for that matter).

Essentially, mountain ranges play havoc with signal strength and cause quite severe signal degradation. Any radio you used, be it ‘Cheap-O McNaff’s Two-Way Bargain-Bin Radio’ or the latest Motorola model, would likely have suffer from the same problem in such an environment.

You can’t even contact the instructors with them. They use different radios on a special frequency. I’ve actually read that long-time skiers tend to get annoyed at noobs who can’t get their radios to work. As Willie D from ‘Yahoo! Answers’ says (and I must say, I agree wholeheartedly) you are far better off using a mobile.

I opted to highlight Willie D’s ‘Yahoo! Answers’ contribution because (in addition to forming a useful part of my own research into the subject), D is a volunteer ski patroller AND a professional hiking guide. Of course, we only have his word to go on about that, but hey, you don’t know me personally either.

Anyway, Willie D says,

“We bought a couple of the higher end Motorola radios a few years ago to use at my job. I am a professional hiking guide. We have them so the tail guide and lead guide can stay in touch. In spite of the 6 mile range advertised, we are lucky if they work well outside of one mile in the mountains. If we can’t hear each other, it means we are too far apart. Thankfully we almost never need them”.

So, to answer your question, no, I’m sorry, but I don’t have any suggestions for you. Take your mobile instead, save your money and use it to send me that postcard!