If you’ve spent any considerable time in the backcountry then you’ve definitely heard of BCA. They are synonymous with top-tier backcountry safety gear, which is a department in which you don’t want to skimp when out of bounds. The BCA BC Link 2.0 Radio is a staple of our backcountry packs whenever we venture out into the Tetons, and it has always served us well. Let’s take a look at how BCA expanded upon the previous model’s design and some of the most notable new features they brought to the table.
Features & Specs
The BC Link 2.0 is a two-way radio system made by backcountry riders for backcountry riders. Not only does it enable you to keep track of your crew when exploring out of bounds, but it also allows you to communicate in real time when weather conditions decide to take a turn. This can be a lifesaver when the wind buries your buddy’s tracks and you can’t quite scope out the best line to the bottom anymore.
Backcountry riders don’t have the luxury of things like flags and ropes to delineate bare spots, cliffs, and other things that can end a day quickly. That’s a big part of why we ride out of bounds, it’s more exciting and free. Tools like the BC Link 2.0 help us minimize some of the danger and maximize the fun.
Ease Of Use
The smart mic system mounts perfectly on your backpack strap or jacket for quick and easy communication, just push to talk. No need to fumble around in your pockets or pack when you need to use it, so you can spend more time shredding. Plus, it weighs in at a mere 11oz which is great because every gram counts when skinning or boot packing to the top.
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Durability & Waterproofing
Since it’s made by BCA you know it can handle any temperature or weather conditions that the backcountry can throw at you because everything from the mic to the base unit is certified IP55 waterproof.
BCA advertises 8 hours of battery life with normal use, and up to 40 hours on standby, which is pretty darn good for a single 2300mAH battery. That means you can expect to get somewhere in between depending on how much you and the crew like to talk like long-haul truckers. Air temperature is also going to affect this number as well. Batteries aren’t fond of being used in the cold, so you can expect to squeeze some more life out of the rechargeable battery on warmer days.
Useable and maximum ranges are among the most important factors in any two-way radio system, and the BC Link 2.0 doesn’t disappoint. The 6mi useable and 40mi max ranges (both line of sight) mean you shouldn’t have any problems maintaining communication with your party, even on those extra long lines. Your mileage may vary depending on the local topography, but this should be more than enough range for most applications.
Telluride Backcountry Radio Program
We mentioned earlier how the BC Link 2.0 is perfect for sharing real-time changes in snow conditions when the weather won’t cooperate. Telluride took this idea and expanded it across a ton of their most popular backcountry areas. This includes the Telluride, Ophir, and Lizard Head Pass areas.
The Telluride Backcountry Radio Program provides specific channels for riders in each zone so that they can communicate with each other as conditions change. The advantage of a program like this is that you can listen and communicate with other groups of powderhounds outside of your own group because they have established multiple preset channels for each zone.
Did you notice some signs of slabbing that weren’t apparent when you dug a snowpit? Is there an exposed stump that you barely missed after dropping that last cliff? Are the south-facing chutes starting to slough as the day goes on? With this program, you can warn everyone in your party and the zone about any potential season-enders, or just express your particular level of stoke because Telluride has established these channels for everyone to share.
BCA has done it yet again with the BC Link 2.0 two-way radio system ($189.95). They took an already great model and made it easier to use, more reliable, and more durable than ever. When it comes to backcountry safety, it always pays to go with the right tool for the job, and the BC Link 2.0 is that tool.