South American Beacon Project: A Reprise


A few months ago I posted about the South American Beacon Project bringing avalanche beacons and education to those working and playing in the Central Andes. These people are doing amazing work. I dug through the gear bins in my garage and found a used-but-still-functional Ortovox F1 and sent it to Alex Taran, a ski patroller at Snowbird and the brains behind the project. She recently sent me back this photo of the beacon I sent being put to good use.

In this photo: Nelson Rubilar (in orange), director of skiing; Lagunilla's only ski patroller (left); woman (holding the beacon) is a ski instructor; boy (center) is Nelson's son.

Lagunillas is a small resort in the Canjon de Maipo, a valley outside of Santiago, Chile. Unfortunately the locals cannot afford equipment like beacons. Lagunillas has only one patroller and a handful of other employees. Last year an avalanche killed two skiers on the volcano at the end of this valley. Now these folks will have the training and equipment needed to respond if such an accident happens again.

Here’s an interview with Nelson Rubilar talking about Lagunillas and the SA Beacon Project.

More information can be found on the South American Beacon Project website. This is a great organization. Check them out. And if you have any old, but still usable, beacons just lying around, send them to Alex. She’ll put them to good use.

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