JHMR Returns Defective BCA Tracker 2 and Pulls From Retail Shelves

defective-bca-tracker-2sThis story has been developing over the past few days, though I first heard hints of problems with certain Backcountry Access Tracker 2s in the ShoutBox in the right sidebar of this blog nearly 2 month ago. (To see the comment, in the ShoutBox, scroll down, hit “Next”, scroll down and hit “Next” again.) At first, I brushed it off as user error, or as a comment from someone who makes mountains out of mole hills, (much like the stuff you may have read about the Ortovox 3+), but when I heard about Jackson Hole Ski Patrol having problems with their Tracker 2s and that JHMR had sent back nearly 100 Tracker2s and pulled all BCA Tracker 2 units off their retail shelves, I began wonder if it was more than just unsubstantiated comments.

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (JHMR) has recently been made aware of potential problems with Backcountry Access’ (BCA) Tracker 2 avalanche beacons. As a result, and effective Saturday January 8th2011, JHMR has ceased sale and rental of the original Tracker 2 beacons, until we are confident that BCA has resolved the problems affecting these units.”, stated Zahan Billamoria, Communications Manager of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.

It’s hard to say what is really going on with the Tracker 2, since I’m sure many people out there are probably happily using their beacons every day. But, since I learned about all this situation, I’ve heard people (mainly patrollers) have had their beacon make beeping sounds when the Tracker 2 was in the “OFF” position, randomly show decimal points in the display screen and just stop working all together in the middle of the day.

In an email to BCA VP Bruce Edgerly, he responds, “We’re still trying to determine why this issue is so concentrated on the Jackson fleet and basically nowhere else. We replaced their fleet as a precautionary measure, not as part of an overall recall. However, if we find that there’s reason to believe the issue is more widespread, then we’ll move forward with one.”

It is yet to be seen if BCA will institute a full product recall of the Tracker2, but I’m sure more will come of this after they do some testing on the 100 or so returned beacons from JHMR. In the meantime, if you are concerned with your Tracker 2, you can send it back to BCA for a free software update, or just visit the BCA Blog for more information.

bccom-logo4Want a new avalanche transceiver? I use the Ortovox S1
and 3 Plus beacons, get them both at Backcountry.com.


12 Responses to “JHMR Returns Defective BCA Tracker 2 and Pulls From Retail Shelves”

  1. 1 mike fischer Jan 10th, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    good thing our hazard is low,This is a transceiver widely believed you don,t have to practice with,assuming it works

  2. 2 rod Jan 10th, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    There’s no such thing as a beacon you don’t have to practice with!!!!

  3. 3 duder Jan 10th, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    Having used the T2 I have never noticed anything unusual with it and have been very happy with its performance… BUT I have heard of similar issues regarding the tracker 2 in the ‘comments’ section of Lou Dawsons wildsnow.com- http://www.wildsnow.com/2349/backcountry-access-tracker-2-avalanche-beacon-review/

    These are troubling issues and hopefully BCA will release a software update that will fix this problem and initiate a recall sooner than later.

    BCA has always been really good at waiting to release products until they are more than ready but not sure this time!

  4. 4 pamida Jan 11th, 2011 at 2:50 am

    they had too rush shipment for the newest batch of retards moving to jh….supply and demand…

  5. 5 Fantasmo Jan 11th, 2011 at 9:52 am

    BCA is coming clean now and while it is better than the cover-up dance they have been conducting for the past year regarding sub-par performance of the T2, it is just NO GOOD. This approach by BCA is inexcusable as it risks lives and someone should be held accountable (perhaps their chief engineer?). Their T2 beacon has consistently had issues in the past that BCA has ignored. I hate to say it, but these Colorado beacon-makers need to go back to the drawing board, perhaps consult the Europeans with Ortovox, Barryvox/Mammut, and Pieps who don’t seem to have these sort of issues and definitely don’t place business models over lives.

    Oh, and I agree with Pamida…..moving to JH is a retarded concept when better/more snow consistently exists in a place with jobs and a good social scene like the resorts of CO/SLC/Bozeman/Whistler.

  6. 6 Jonathan Shefftz Jan 11th, 2011 at 11:20 am

    “hopefully BCA will release a software update that will fix this problem”
    – The BCA blog states that release 4 (from late December) already fixed the problem.

    “BUT I have heard of similar issues regarding the tracker 2 in the ‘comments’ section of Lou Dawsons wildsnow.com”
    – I see only one comment about this on my review, dated December 15, and the comment also states that the firmware update fixes it.

  7. 7 Eric Jan 11th, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    “The BCA blog states that release 4 (from late December) already fixed the problem.” This sounds like the mac commercial mocking windows 7 being touted as a cure all.

    I’m keeping my original tracker.

  8. 8 Eric Jan 12th, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Has anyone had problems with the new 4.0 software for the Tracker 2? Any comments or feed back would be appreciated…

  9. 9 Jim Jan 12th, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    BCA gave me a RME and post paid to install new software 4 on a couple Tracker
    2′s. They were pretty nice about it. Too bad you can’t just download it online.

    ps. Heading to Montana. Seems like an active BC community but sure is off the radar.

  10. 10 Johnny Jan 16th, 2011 at 12:18 pm


    About 2/3s down how to evaluate.

    Will show
    99 (or battery percentage)
    if good

  1. 1 BCA Issues New Tracker 2 Software After Malfuctions at Jackson Hole | my-seattle-dentist.com Pingback on Jan 28th, 2011 at 10:28 am
  2. 2 Outdoor Retailer Avy Corner | TetonAT.com Pingback on Feb 3rd, 2011 at 6:41 am
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