Emergency Cell Phone¶
A cell phone has been provided for use in emergencies (e.g., power failure at the mountain; internet access cut off) when normal phone service has been interrupted. The current model is a Samsung flip-phone. The cell number is written on the back. You need to be outside at the railing overlooking the Elqui valley (Northeast towards Vicuna) to get a decent signal. Turn the cell phone on only after you are at this location.
To call the US: Press 0 for ~1 second; you will see a "+" sign. Then 1 + area code + 7 digit number.
To call CTIO: Press 0 for ~1 second; you will see a "+" sign. Then 56 + 51 + 2205 + 3 digit extension.
(56 is the country code, 51 is the La Serena area code, the first 2 designates a landline.)
NOTE: Sometimes the phone fails with "Emergency Calls Only." This will happen if you turn the phone on inside and then go outside. The problem is that the phone latches on to a network that cannot be used for phone calls (except for Emergency calls - those are never blocked.) Supposedly if you wait long enough it will connect to the right network, but better to leave the phone off until it is in position to pick up the correct network right from the beginning.