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Need avalanche training in Chile

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I have a petition to make...

 

Avalanche and snow pit info is non-existent in Chile, mainly because few people know how to do it (myself included) and fewer share it. I asked the La Parva Ski patrol if they had any relative training, and they do not. They know the basics of using ARVA and searches, but that is as far as they get. The bosses set explosives on the ridge when they feel it is warranted, and just post the same blanket avalanche warning every time it snows significantly. While avi danger is relatively low in the 3 Valleys area, it does exist on the La Parva ridge, and in particular in Santa Teresa.

 

SO, is anyone in Chile or coming to Chile with avalanche expertise, that would be willing to impart some basic instruction? I would be most interested in giving them the skills to evaluate avalanche danger, do snow pits, and publish the results. For a start, we could use this forum or another specific one for information, and just see who is doing what and what sort of info there is out there. 

 

From my side, I would be willing to offer a couple nights lodging in La Parva to the right person, and maybe the ski patrol or ski area admin would provide some other "facilities" (lift tickets?).

 

PM me if you can help in any way with this just cause!!

 

In case you missed them here http://bit.ly/skichile2015, following are some photos from Chile this August:

 

 

 

post #2 of 8

I'm certainly not qualified to teach on this subject, but I have had the kind of informal training you are asking for. While there is no substitute for hands in in person training, I recommend not waiting. There are several quality youtube videos on snow pits and avalanche safety, I searched on "avalanche snow pit" on YouTube, The first one that came up was pretty good (below), but the one that auto played after that one looks like what you are looking for. There is enough in these videos to identify what gear you need to have and go out into relatively safe low angle terrain and practice on your own.

 

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I'd also recommend that you start with the sticky thread in the backcountry forum.

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks Rusty, I will have a look. My original idea was to have someone show up and I would translate to Spanish for the non-English speaking patrollers, but perhaps I can auto-train and do it myself. Cheers, Casey

post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Casey E View Post
 

Thanks Rusty, I will have a look. My original idea was to have someone show up and I would translate to Spanish for the non-English speaking patrollers, but perhaps I can auto-train and do it myself. Cheers, Casey


Reminds me of what has been happening over in Gulmarg in recent years.  You might get some ideas from this thread that includes comments about avy training for enthusiastic locals in 2014-15  (Posts #7, #14).

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/130622/gulmarg-2014-15-trip-report

 

Good luck!

post #5 of 8

I know a few years back the Portillo avalanche safety and heli guiding was run by Frank Coffee, who worked the rest of the year as a guide for Chugach Powder Guides in Alaska. Portillo had a first class avalanche operation, and I assume it still does.  There are tons of certified Canadian Mountain (snow) Guides, so I am sure you could find one that would love to spend his or her summer working and skiing in Chile.

post #6 of 8

Coffee would be good or you could try Greg Harms, who has a Heli op in VN.

 

http://www.thirdedgeheli.com/about/

post #7 of 8

Frank's knowledge and skills are most impressive. I met him at Chugach Powder Guides.

post #8 of 8


Case E. I just now saw this thread from having seen your posts on the Ski Chile 2016 thread. If you are still looking to do something regarding avalanche instruction down here in Chile, a friend of mine is a guide and actually teaches courses on avalanche safety. His name is Philippe Bouteille. Here's his profile info from his company's web page...http://www.whiteworldfreeride.com/#!guides/yetea

Philippe worked as a skipatrol in France, USA and as skipatrol director in La Parva, Chile from 1995 to 2006 as a 3rd degree ski patrol.

He is a pure product of both famous E.N.S.A, the french national school of skiing and Alpinism in Chamonix, and A.N.E.N.A, the French national snow and avalanches studies association where he learned about snow forecasting and avalanches control.

He's also a first aid instructor certified by the French Red Cross and he proudly owns a Wilderness First Responder card from N.O.L.S. and N.A.E.M.T. certification by approving the PreHospital Trauma Life Support course.

Every year since 2008, from April to early July, Philippe teaches first aid every week end the volunteer Chilean ski patrols (www.patrullas.cl).

He' s a member of the Chilean heliski Association as a technical director and participate in numerous activities related to snow safety.

Philippe is an ambassador for The North Face, Backcountry Access and The M Equipment in Chile.

He´s 44 y/o, speaks fluently 4 languages, lives in Chilean Patagonia all year round with his wife and his daughter.

When he doesn't ski or telemark, Philippe loves to surf, golf, rock and ice climb.

 

I have gone AT skiing with Philippe. He's a really good guy and is very knowledgeable. He is French, but don't hold that against him :). He considers himself Chlean these days anyway.

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