PowderQuests goal is to provide the best cultural, culinary, social and ski/snowboard product in the region. Safety is the paramount guideline for all operations.
PowderQuest and Participants Risk Awareness
PowderQuest strives to provide a safe experience in the mountain environment yet it cannot entirely control or remove this environment’s inherent risks, hazards and dangers. Mountain travel is exposed to dangers and hazards that can only be completely eliminated by not participating in the activity. This said, it is incumbent on each participant to assume the activity risk. To do so, each participant is therefore required to take knowledge of, understand and knowingly sign a legal waiver which is necessary to complete the reservation.
If a participant is not willing to assume this risk, then he or she will not be permitted to partake in the activity. Once on location participants will participate in a rescue scenario tutorial (including avalanche and other incidents) where the guides will explain the general course of action as well as the use of rescue equipment such as beacon, probe and shovel.
Special Notice on South American Rescue and Medical Care
PowderQuest guides are equipped and trained for field rescue and primary first aid. Participants are responsible to provide their own or rent safety equipment from PowderQuest as well as present themselves with the appropriate mountain travel equipment. When a situation requires external help, the company and affected participants must rely on the local medical and rescue support teams (ski patrol, rescue team, ambulance and hospital).
In South American countries such as Chile and Argentina, organized rescue, transport, medical assessment and medical treatment are determined by local social and economical realities. Thus a participant on a PowderQuest Tour cannot expect the same level of external rescue resource availability and ensuing medical care as in their home countries. This said, PowderQuest has established a network of the quality local and international medical contacts available as well as private transport agencies that can be engaged to support the companies rescue effort.
Guides are trained to be as self sufficient and resourceful, yet PowderQuest cannot guarantee the competence, reliability or availability of local rescue, transport and medical support.
PowderQuest’s Mountain Safety – Our Guides
PowderQuest’s safety measures rests upon skilled guides and operational protocols. Lead ski guides are certified by the International Federation of Mountain Guides Association (IFMGA), the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG), or the Argentine Mountain Guide Association (AAGM).
The minimum requirement for a PowderQuest assistant ski guide is to have extensive wilderness first aid training, be certified level 1 ski operations by the Canadian Avalanche Association (or similar certification from other associations in other countries) and speak English, Spanish as well as other languages.
Terrain and Snow Pack Consideration – Daily procedures
Each given PowderQuest tour utilizes a wide variety of terrain in up to six different locations. PowderQuest has a network of local contacts that are used to gather information on specific snowpack and mountain travel conditions. Moreover, PowderQuest has an internal terrain and snowpack information exchange system that is used to capture and transmit information between the company’s guides.
These sources of information coupled with the latest weather forecast serve as a basis to establish the day’s mountain objective. These objectives are then discussed by the guide team and presented to the participants.