Lead Patroller At Cerro Catedral, Argentina Has Been Killed In An Avalanche

The current South American winter is being called one for the ages as snow continues to pile up in parts of the continent, including the Patagonia region of Argentina. Though snow sports operations are partly underway after COVID-19 issues, there is now bad news to go along with all of the good. The Patrol Chief at Cerro Catedral was killed by an avalanche this morning, July 27th.

Patrol Chief Mario Ruiz was one of two men caught in an avalanche this morning while doing mitigation work. Though the other patroller was able to be rescued with some injury, Ruiz was not so lucky. He was pulled out by other patrol members and taken quickly to a local hospital. However, it was not enough to save his life. He died at the hospital, apparently, from the injuries suffered during that avalanche.

"Mario Ruiz, has worked at the Cathedral for more than 30 years. During the last 9 years he was the Chief of the Patrol, a task that he carried out with a lot of commitment and dedication. Mario returned in the month of March from an exchange with ski centers in the United States, he was a great leader and teacher when it comes to safety for everyone who is part of Catedral Alta Patagonia. We deeply regret his death and accompany his family in this difficult time." - Excerpt from a Cerro Catedral News Release, translated from Spanish to English by Google.

After this incident and the amount of snow that has continued to accumulate in the area, the mountain has been closed to the public. The resort plans to stay closed until avalanche mitigation has been completed and it's safe to allow for others to return for skiing and snowboarding.

For those that would like more information on avalanches, including preparedness, survival, and rescue, please refer to this guide from snowsportzone.com.


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