26 July 2008

Cave Search and Rescue Training and More Reconnaissance

Originally drafted 20 July 2008

Exploring one of the many canyons of the Cordillera de los Andes. Credit: Dan Ruby.

This morning, we had our cave search and rescue/ safety training. Christina our new safety chief stepped right up to the plate and is doing an outstanding job! She proposed several injury scenarios that we may encounter underground, she demonstrated how to evaluate a person with a suspected neck or back injury and practiced our knots relevant to extricating an injured person. We also discussed and shored up several aspects of the projects safety plan. The entire team agrees that this exercise has definitely upped our overall cave safety.

The salt landscape. Credit: Pete Polsgrove.

Knutt, Dan, Christina and John left for the field after the safety meeting. Their objective was to chase a cave lead they found yesterday. If this pans out, they will begin mapping. Otherwise, they will continue cave reconnaissance.

Standing in the entrance of Cueva Lechuza de Campanario. Credit: Pete Polsgrove.

I have been tasked with dealing with several logistical aspects that have cropped up since we have been here. It appears that I will be spending the next few days between San Pedro and Calama ironing out all these details and getting several issues resolved. I spent most of today looking for topographic maps and compasses. We could not purchase topographic maps in the states because we did not have coordinates, and we did not know where many of the caves were located. We now have coordinates for only a few places – so, obtaining the right maps will likely remain challenging. To date, I remain unsuccessful at locating compasses and topographic maps. Hopefully, this will change. I will go to Calama tomorrow.

Loading up the trucks and headin' home. Credit: Pete Polsgrove.

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