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Surviving cruel weather in the Italian mountains

Franceso De Marco

As a naturalist and landscape photographer, Francesco de Marco often travels from his base in Italy to parts of the world with no mobile phone reception. He bought a SPOT Gen3 in 2016 after doing thorough research and reading reviews. Now, when he arrives somewhere for a shoot, he makes a point of sending a check-in message to the folks back home to say he is OK. His family and friends follow his travels as his faithful SPOT tracks his movements.

However in December 2017, Francesco found himself using SPOT in an emergency situation.

He was driving off-road, heading home with three others in the Apennine Mountains of central Italy about 100 km North East of Rome when the weather suddenly changed. They found themselves in a huge snowstorm and the temperature plummeted to -20 degrees C.

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Trapped by a storm near the summit of Mont Blanc

Vicente Sutil
Photo Credit: Nicolas Gantz

In 2017, Vicente Sutil, a professional big mountain skier, and two friends planned to ski down Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in the Alps. The aim was to hike up to the summit at 4,800 meters then spend a day skiing down to Chamonix at the base.

The three Chileans started hiking up the mountain carrying their equipment and the forecast was perfect. But when they were 500m below the summit, a localised storm appeared out of nowhere.

They were prepared for Mont Blanc's unpredictable weather and dug a hole with their shovels to sit out the storm. They set up probes outside the snow hole so they could be found even if the snow covered them completely.

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A rescue in remote Greenland

Phillip Pauli

Gabriel Gersch is a professional wilderness trekker at Outventurous but even when he is not guiding clients he spends half his life in remote locations under canvas.

In the summer of 2017 Gabriel spent three months in Greenland trekking across demanding landscapes where perhaps no human had ventured before. The first trek lasted three weeks, the next took four weeks and the final one was seven weeks’ duration.

A Belgian travel services company dropped food caches every few weeks as provisions for Gabriel and his various companions who joined him on different legs of his journeys.

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SPOT to the rescue in a medical emergency in Lapland

Phillip Pauli

For many years Tomas Jönsson has relied on his SPOT Gen3 for security on his fishing adventures, which take him to some of the most remote corners of the world. Tomas regularly heads off to areas with no mobile phone service and needs the reassurance of knowing he has a way to communicate in case of an emergency.

He chose a SPOT Gen3 because of the device’s excellent battery life, affordable cost, its light weight and its reliability in all weathers. The latter is particularly important when Tomas travels north from his home in Sweden to places that are -30 degrees C in winter.

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Lost in the mountains of Romania

Phillip Pauli

Ivan Satrapa enjoys taking his enduro motorbike off-road around the globe. Naturally he always takes his SPOT Gen3 and so, whether it is Bolivia, Argentina, Albania or Morocco, his wife Michaela can track his journey. She also knows to expect a check-in message every evening.

One evening in summer 2017, when Ivan was on a five day enduro trip in the Banat mountains in Caras Severin County, western Romania, Michaela didn't get a check-in message so she called the local authorities, explained the situation and gave them his GPS coordinates.

At almost the same time, the local search and rescue service heard from the IERCC with the location of an S.O.S. message from Ivan's SPOT unit.

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