This is a community who not only needs more of this type of education, but actively wants it. This was easily illustrated by the 100+ people who showed up with little notice to our Avalanche Awareness presentation at El Montanes bar.
This class was originally never planned. I met Fernando 3 days prior to this class. I started passionately talking about the Beacon Project and our vision for avalanche education and accident prevention in South America. It immediately became apparent he shared that same passion. 3 days later I found myself in a bar I had spent many nights in 8 years prior, as a patroller new to Chile…but this time was different.
The community had once again filled the local bar but, instead of drunken yelling, it was silent. 100 people were listening, 100 people chose to come, chose to learn how to make safer decisions in the backcountry. Our avalanche presentations are no substitute for a certification class, nor will they ever be. They serve as an introduction. They are the first step. Thanks to Fernando of Base Camp Farrellones, El Montanes, La Parva, and the Municipality of Barnechea for helping the South American Beacon Project introduce a new way thinking, and helping 100+ people choose the first step towards avalanche awareness in the Central Cordillera.