In Chile ski patrollers wages start at $475 USD a month. Ski areas are supposed to provide beacons but many do not. Many of these patrollers and workers must support a family on this salary and are not able to buy personal avalanche beacons. Beacons are a life saving tool which come hand in hand with working in a mountain environment. They are one of the only hope for saving a buried avalanche worker from otherwise near certain death.

The goal of this project tool into the hands of those who otherwise could not afford it. All organizations who receive these tools will ensure that beacons will stay not with an individual but with the organization. The beacon users receive training on how to perform a partner and group rescue. This training will be ongoing year to year as staff changes, and rescue strategies evolve.

The beacons and rescue gear come from three origins: Donated by previous users (and checked for range in send, search and flux line drift), Donated by sponsors, and purchased through fundraising events. (please go to our “Getting Involved” page for more information.)


At this time we are no longer accepting analog beacons, but are very much in need of digital beacons.

16 Responses to Beacons

  1. Ryan Sukow says:

    Hi, I read about this somewhere (facebook maybe?) and thought this would be a great idea. I have an older model Ortovox F1 Focus that I’d be willing to donate to the cause. It does have a bit of frequency drift on it when I measure it with my Pieps DSP, but the Ortovox is still in excellent working shape. Let me know where to donate it to and how to go about this process.

    • admin says:


      Your donation of your F1 would be awesome. Unfortunately because we are in the process of getting our 501 (c) 3 status (a year long process) your donation can’t currently get a tax break. But your donation for sure can help someone working in regions in the Central Andes get a potentially life saving tool.

      Donated beacons can be sent to:

      South America Beacon Project

      3434 East 7800 South #263

      Salt Lake City, UT 84121

      Thank you so much for your interest and support!

  2. Pingback: South American Beacon Project | Kim Kircher

  3. Kim Kircher says:

    I’ve got one too. I’ll send it your way!

  4. Cam Miller says:

    Hey guys,

    The Vancouver Section of the Alpine Club of Canada has been pushing all of its members to upgrade to new beacons this year – a lot of us have been holding on to our old analogs pretty tightly, but have finally been convinced to move to digital. This could mean we have a number of spares kicking around – they would mostly be old analog beacons, but they’re still functional. Would you be interested in them? And if so, would you be able to put me in touch with the Salomon store so we could talk shipping? ;)

    • admin says:

      Sorry to get back to you so late we had an issue with spam big time and finally sorted through it all, analog beacons are great for us, we will test all the beacons to make sure there is not too much drift in the flux lines. And then we will take them down starting in early July. Any spares you donate will be used by the workers in the South American communities we are involved with, analog or digital. The Salomon store helped us with the MEC donation’s shipment, but for yours please send me an email and we’ll work something out.

      Thanks so much for the support,


  5. Chris says:

    I’ve got an older ortovox M2 that works great. Are you looking for any other avi gear? I’ve also got a voile shovel with snow saw in the handle which I could donate if you’re looking for that stuff as well.

    Awesome job!


    • admin says:

      Hi Chris,

      Sorry to get back to you so late we had an issue with spam big time and finally sorted through it all, we would love your M2 and especially the shovel, people replace functioning beacons for newer technology often, but, continue to use their shovels and probes. Because of this we have a lot of beacons donated but shovels and probes are rescue tools we are very short of.

      Our mailing address is:

      South America Beacon Project

      3434 East 7800 South #263

      Salt Lake City, UT 84121

      Thanks so much for the support of these South American Communities!

  6. Anne Winton says:

    Are you interested in 2 beacons, Ortovox F2? They are probably at least 15 years old but I believe in good working condition.
    Thank you, Anne Winton

    • admin says:

      Unfortunately Anne the F2s are too old for us to pass along. The earpiece and just the age and frequency drift that comes with it becomes an issue. Thank you so much for thinking about us though. We couldn’t run this program without the donations we receive.

  7. Mark Dumont says:


    I’m going to send you guys an Ortovox f1 and x1, from 2004 era. This is a fantastic idea. I’ve been down to South America a few times, heading again next season. Nice to be able to chip in to the cause down there.


    • Mark Dumont says:

      Will toss in a 230cm G3 probe also.

    • admin says:

      Awesome! We look forward to testing them, and getting them into good hands. Also the probe and the saw are so huge, they are tools which people in North America don’t often replace. Because of this we don’t receive too many to bring down, but many rescue organizations down there are still cannot afford them .

  8. Juaco says:

    Great great idea!! just read about this and i find it awesome!

    I´m from Chile and my concern is this:

    Will the ski patrol rescue you from a backcountry sesh?
    Are they qualified enough to save you?

    I don’t think they´ll go an extra mile/scratch their skies n such trying to rescue you.

    everytime this happens, the crew that does the rescue, are the cops and special ops.

    we need to create awareness for the most part.

    well… this is my humble opinion!

    feel free to contact me!

    PS my english got super rusty! lol!


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