Video from our Patagonian Icecap Expedition 2011

This year our expedition was blessed by windless and sunny conditions, unusual on the Patagonian Icecap. A far cry from the year before. We managed to complete the full itinerary and had some of the most amazing mountain and wilderness views any of us had ever seen.

Here is a short 10 minute video from the trip. I can’t wait to return. The place is infectious! Consequently we are taking bookings for 2012. Have a look at our Patagonian Icecap webpage for details.

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Oh, Patagonia, to leave you we shall weep!

Poem by Michelle Wakeley about her time spent on our recent Southern Patagonian Icecap Expedition.

THE ICE-CAP – SO WILD & STILL

Finally, in El Chalten we arrive
To face this southern cap of ice
Our team of six come from far & wide
Would we achieve her illusive prize?

On the vast icecap below Paso Marconi

On the vast icecap below Paso Marconi

The Patagonian gods mocked us with a sunny display
Only to veil Cerro Fitzroy & Torre for days
But with better reports, a little patience,
We were on our way.

Across tangeled forests & boulders
Condors welcomed us in full view
Held by icy winds, La Playita became our refuge
And so, the resident mouse did too!

A short delay, we tiptoed our way up the Marconi
Grumbling avalanches & spin drift ahead
Onward & upward we battled to her icy bowels
Sure signs the gods weren’t dead!

Buried alive, but we survived
A night of force & fury from the west
Sunburnt & smiling we reinforced our wall
To find the gods had held their breath

Two perfect days we trod this mythical place
The circus of Altares in full show
Sunrise kisses, our trophey now found
But here, no man can stay, we must go!

So with dark clouds brewing from the north
The Patagonian gods veil our prize
Faring us well, us intrepid few,
With heartfelt memories we say our goodbyes

There our journey doesn’t end
Down glaciers, rivers & meadows of wild flowers, we descend
Under shooting stars & starry skies, we sleep
Oh, Patagonia, to leave you we shall weep!

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Patagonia Expedition Update No 9 – Laguna Ferrari Glacial Lake

The group has made it safely off the main ice and is setting up camp for the night in a sheltered area by the Laguna Ferrari glacial lake. Plenty of water here and no need to melt snow for drinking water tonight ! Tomorrow is the climb out over the Paso del viento (windy pass) aptly named as the prevailing winds are strong here.

Fortunately the current wind is gentle and from the North so there will be no ‘funnel effect’ for the group tomorrow. There are fantastic views of peaks including Cerro Grande and Cerro Azara. The route will pass to the south of the Glacier De Querrain and the Glacier Rio Tunel. Weather forecast is sun all day so we should get some fantastic photos from this, the most ‘scenic’ day of the trek.

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Patagonia Expedition Update No 8 – Circo de los Altares

The team have reached Circo de los Altares. This is a relatively sheltered camp area regularly used by trekking groups. They have good weather so they should be able to get some fantastic photos of the west face of Cerro torre glowing red in the low sun. Tomorrow the weather looks good so they will trek south over the ice and leave the icecap around mid-day and start the painful climb back over the broken glacier to safe terrain.

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Patagonia Expedition Update No 6 – Camp 1 on the Icecap

The group have made it to Camp 1 on the Icecap. Here they will dig holes for their tents to protect them from the high winds which will blow relentlessly over the ice tonight. All is going well so far and everyone is OK. The wind is strong tomorrow morning so we have advised them to make a late morning start as the wind will drop towards lunchtime. They will be currently melting snow for drinking water and resting their legs after a full day crossing the glacier!

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Patagonia Expedition No 4 – Second day to La Playita

The team have reached the last sheltered camp of their trip at La Playita. This is a small beach area totally sheltered from the prevailing winds. This is the place where groups commonly wait for a suitable weather window to move up onto the Marconi glacier and over the Marconi Pass. They will spend tonight there and tomorrow will be their hardest day. The weather looks good up until Friday and all is working fine with the position tracker.

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