Mountaineering is a recreational sport that consists of the ascent and descent of mountains. This activity requires a set of techniques, knowledge, and skills aimed at achieving this objective; but it also entails safety risks that must be considered. But to those who practice it, they consider it a true lifestyle.
Argentinian Emilia Pachado is passionate about nature and regularly practices mountaineering routinely working to reach the top of a certain mountain, peak or volcano as a personal challenge. Her first crossing was the "Aconcagua" at about 6962 meters high, considered the highest peak in America. Emilia became the first woman to perform it solo and set her next challenge: climbing the Ojos del Salado volcano along the Argentina – Chile border.
On her first expedition, Emilia quickly learned the importance of regular check-ins with friends and family and after much research discovered the SPOT family of satellite messengers. For her planned ascent to Ojos del Salado, Emilia would plan to share her location and predetermined messages on an ongoing basis with relatives.
The trip would last 11 days, but the weather forecast was the opposite of what was expected, causing the expedition to be extended another 10 days. Together with her bicycle, Emilia began her journey of 21 days, with 15 of them comprised of storms. The snow was so bad that it became increasingly difficult to advance, and at that point she only hoped to reach the next camp in the hope of finding someone who could help her, but Emilia never found anyone.
The conditions were already extreme, hours passed, and Emilia could not reach the top when a storm hit again; still she went on and was finally able to reach the summit. At that moment she knew that the journey to survival was just beginning: the descent was next. Along the way she broke both of her legs, forcing her to abandon her bicycle and crawl to camp, only to find that her feet were frozen. That was Emilia’s breaking point, she needed help because otherwise she would not make it.
Emilia concluded that it was time to press the button of her SPOT device. It took the rescue team 2 days to find her exact position, due to the complications of the weather.
Today Emilia has recovered 100%, is planning her next adventure and seeks to be an inspiration for other women. Emilia's rescue would not have been possible without the coordination of the Overwatch x Rescue team, local rescuers and SPOT technology. SPOT partners with Overwatch x Rescue to provide emergency assistance services under the Overwatch x Rescue Plan to SPOT customers worldwide, providing a direct line to the 24-hour Emergency Response Center.