Once again we are honored to be invited to teach such an amazing crew. Fraile is the heart of the ski community in Coyhaique. While the Patrulla de Ski Chile is a volunteer rescue organization, they are the only rescue at Fraile. Thanks for the incredible hospitality. It was an honor over two days to put beacons into the hands of this response group and teach Basic Avalanche Awareness and Rescue Clinic.
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.
Patrulla de Ski Chile- Nevados de Chillan- Patrullas de ski Chile is a National Volunteer Patrol program they are in 10 ski areas throughout Chile. And don’t be mistaken while they are a volunteer group, in several of their sections they are the only option for rescue. We had the opportunity to give the Patrollers from the Nevados de Chillan section beacons this year. They work with the Pisteros (professional patrol) to perform rescues in an area with a history of avalanche accidents. Thanks to Juan for not only making this connection, but seeking a new level of avalanche education for his team.
Thanks to Sean and Justin for making sure that La Asociación Búsqueda y Rescate en zonas agrestes de Villa La Angostura not only have the rescues tools they need, but the important training on how to use them. Villa La Angostura is a mountaineering and tourism community in Argentina, this area houses the ski area Cerro Bayo and many surrounding mountains. As an answer to “missing persons” and unorganized mountain rescue this volunteer organization was formed. Until now they didn’t have the avalanche rescue tools they needed even though the area they serve is mostly mountainous terrain. Thanks to the help of all parties involved our volunteer organization can help theirs. Thanks Sean and Justin without your dedication to the testing and transport of beacons, training of the groups we work with, and promotion of the project none of this would have been possible.