“Mountain Rescues”: Toncek Arko’s book that narrates the exploits and challenges of the CAX | Bariloche Opina

“Mountain Rescues”: Toncek Arko’s book that narrates the exploits and challenges of the CAX | Bariloche Opina
“Mountain Rescues”: Toncek Arko’s book that narrates the exploits and challenges of the CAX | Bariloche Opina

In commemoration of the 90 years of history of the Relief Commission (CAX) del Andean Club Barilochethe journalist and mountaineer Toncek Arko presented his most recent work: “Mountain Rescues“This book, a thorough historical compilation, chronicles the exploits and challenges that CAX has faced since its founding, highlighting its commitment to mountain safety and rescue.

The history of the CAX dates back to February 1934, when the first fatal accident occurred on Cerro Tronador. At that time, Otto Meiling and German Clausen formed the first search and rescue patrol, marking the beginning of a tradition of service and solidarity that has lasted for nine decades.

Read also: The Bariloche Andean Club is preparing for a month of July full of activities

As a partner and member of the Board of Directors of the CAB, Arko made an exhaustive historical tour accompanied by photographs of each period. In the program “Nothing is forever” of Radio Rivadavia Bariloche, FM 101.3, highlighted that the book is not only a work to read, but also to to admire visuallythanks to its almost 300 pages full of images.

“This book was created towards the end of last year when the Relief Commission was about to celebrate 90 years of solidarity work in the mountains and to compile a little of the history of the relief commission, the rescues, the searches,” he said. He also stressed the solidarity objective of the book, since it was produced as part of a campaign to raise the necessary resources for the association.

Throughout its pages, “Mountain Rescues“offers a detailed look at the most high-profile rescues and the technological developments that have transformed CAX’s work. From the earliest rescues without basic communications and equipment, to the incorporation of modern technologies such as helicopters and radio equipment, the book shows how CAX has continually adapted and improved its methods.

“In ancient times there was nothing, not even a mobile phone. Everything was done on foot in the mountains, and it took a long time for people who were lost or had accidents to get there,” Arko recalled. Today, the work of the CAX goes beyond the limits of expert mountaineering, also assisting novice hikers who venture into the mountains.

He stressed the importance of community collaboration for the success of CAX. “The ideal thing is to buy the book. It can be purchased at the headquarters of the Bariloche Andean Club. You can browse through it and, if you want, you can pay through any banking or transfer system, meaning that the Andean Club does not handle cash.”

Among the notable anecdotes, Arko mentioned the rescue of two Italian mountaineers in 1934, which gave rise to the Aid Commission. “The Aid Commission was born when in 1934, in the month of February, two Italian mountaineers went missing on Cerro Tronador. They had gone to climb through Chile, crossed here via Vicente Pérez Rosales and climbed up Peulla. El Tronador from Chile, and they were caught in a storm and disappeared.”

Another notable rescue was that of a pilot on Cerro Plataforma. “We remember that a small plane crashed not long ago near El Bolsón on Cerro Plataforma. The pilot was rescued at the same time. Things from other planes were thrown to him, and the next day a helicopter went to look for him.”

Arko also highlighted the evolution of rescue equipment and methods. “The first stretcher was bought in the 1960s and brought from Austria. It is still there as a relic, although it is already obsolete. Today, the Rescue Commission has very good equipment, including modern stretchers and helicopters for faster and more efficient rescues,” he concluded.

(Bariloche Opines)

Photo courtesy of Club Andino Bariloche

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