Together with members of the local police, CONAF and Las Torres Reserve, AMA Torres del Paine, a non-profit organization that protects the park, coordinated the evacuation of an injured person within the Torres del Paine National Park.
On Jan. 11, 2023 AMA park rangers responded to the emergency after a guide requested help with a visitor who suffered an ankle injury in the forest while descending from the Base of the Towers trail.
Following established protocols, the hiker, a 75-year-old Koaren national, was transferred on a stretcher to the Chilean Refugio (a campsite near the trail) around 6:20 pm. He was evaluated and cared for by AMA park rangers and received care to alleviate the swollen ankle. He was housed and offered dinner during his stay at the campsite.
The next morning, Thursday, Jan. 12, the hiker was made ready for the descent by securing the injured ankle with a split and protecting the hiker from the cold and the possibility of hypothermia. AMA park rangers, CONAF and the local police in coordination with the Prevention Department of Las Torres Reserved, carried out the evacuation process to Hotel Las Torres where an ambulance had been arranged to meet the evacuation team and the hiker.
This evacuation process was led and coordinated by Natali Espinoza, AMA park ranger and volunteer from the Torres del Paine Fire Brigade, who was in charge of the evaluation and care of the injured passenger, as well as his subsequent evacuation, with the support of Jordan Oyarzún, from the Las Torres Reserve Prevention Department and lieutenant of the Torres del Paine Fire Brigade.
The evacuation was led and coordinated by Natali Espinoza, AMA park ranger and volunteer firefighter from the Torres del Paine Fire Brigade. She was in charge of the evaluation and care of the injured hiker, as well as his subsequent removal. She was supported in this work by Jordan Oyarzun, lieutenant of the Torres del Paine Fire Brigade and member of the Prevention Department of the Las Torres Reserve.
“The Base of the Torres hike is marked medium-to-high difficulty. The path is almost entirely covered with stones, and the weather can change from one moment to the other. Many people hike this trail without reviewing the clothing and footwear recommendations that are available. They hike in inappropriate footwear such as sneakers, which makes the path more difficult in inclement weather, where the path can become very slippery. On this trail, you should not hurry when going up or down and be careful where you step and always stay on the main path,” recommends Espinoza.
Through these efforts, AMA Torres del Paine and the Las Torres Reserve continue to work in coordination with organizations such as CONAF and the local police to guarantee the safety of visitors to Torres del Paine National Park.