After a while with no news and no movement from Borge's team we just received this short text message, and position:
"We have now arrived at the first road and are waiting for transport to El Chalten. A shower, some red wine and a huge argentinian steak"
So it seems they are doing very good !
Alt +577 m
14-Nov-2013 00:41:52 UTC
Yesterday was another incredible day here in Paradise. We drove down South again following parts of the “carretera” Austral. We had a snowstorm on the highest part. Then we camped by a local farmer and for dinner we had a whole grilled lamb in the “fuego”. Unbelievably good!
Today the weather is nice again so we are about to hit the road for a small lake filled up with trout. Guess what our dinner will be ? We will also try the kayaks over there.
Saludos from Patagonia.
|Yesterday was a day in the tent for us. Wet snow, whiteout and windy, so we took it easy, relaxed and recuperated. We ate Ragnas cake and drank Thorleif's rum. So not a day to complain about at all !
Got up 5 o clock this morning, and started digging out the tents which were completely snowed in after all the wind and snow we had. Some strong gusts last night, but this morning it was rather calm, so we got going.
Wind picked up and we walked in 10-15 m/s most of the day in complete whiteout with storm gusts in between. But the best day is a day of thirst as they say, and it has seldom felt better to be in the tent again enjoying a double portion of dinner and hot tea. We are now only 5 km from Paso Marconi, and expect to leave the ice tomorrow morning. Weather looks promising, some clouds and fog, but we should soon enough descend below the clouds from our position here at 1500 metres. Fingers crossed.
12-Nov-2013 23:31:59 UTC
Weather has been windy and wet the whole day so we have relaxed in the tent. Forecast looks better for tomorrow and the day after. When it clears up we will head for paso Marconi as our way out. Network is down so no photos today.
We started and ended this day in total whiteout, after a rather windy night. Wind was steady 8 -10 m/s during the day, but gradually increased towards the evening.
Still we did a full day, 25 km, which we are very satisfied with in these conditions. Forecast for tomorrow is bad, so we expect a day in the tent tomorrow. We did a good job setting up the tent, digging it down and secured it with extra climbing ropes.
It’s already a gusting storm, so noisy that we cannot hear each other speaking when the hardest gusts hit. Both tents have double poles, so we feel secure and must just make the best out of the downtime. It’s anyway good to have a rest day after more than a week of continuous hard work.
Now it’s time for dinner! We have enough fuel and food and can basically eat as much as we want. On top of it we have a stack of cards, some books and best of all good friends, so there’s not much more we need !
Alt +1460 m
11-Nov-2013 00:57:39 UTC
Greetings from Patagonia,
Last day on every journey is always special in its own way. This was one that truly will be remembered for a long time.
It started already in the morning. Weather was as usual on this trip very nice. When I was on the sat phone to call in yesterday blog, a wildcat jumped up in a tree 2 meters away and posed for me. Unluckily I didn't bring my camera down to the shore were I had to go to get signal. The cat sat there for almost a minute, watching me before it rained into the thick forest. Out in the small lagoon by the cabin I could see huge fish jumping for flies, wet birds were all over the lagoon and out in San Rafael lagoon huge icebergs from the glacier made a perfect frame for the whole view.
We brought all the equipment to the small pier 5 kilometers away from the cabin. The Conaf "rangers" helped us with this.
At 2 pm the boat came to pick us up. We were all sunbathing by the shoreline when the boat parked by the pier. First comment from Thomas was that everybody had to come back again, because this great weather we have had on this trip is not the real thing.
And to be honest, this Patagonia crossing has been a "weather trip", but this time the weather has been unbelievable good. Almost no rain, wind or snow. Every day on the glacier we could see San Valentine (4000 meters above sea level and the highest in Patagonia). To compare, when I crossed with Borge in 2009 we didn't see it at all… only a glimpse of the lower part.
We loaded everything in the RIB and took a sight to the front of San Rafael. On our way we even saw a leopard seal that was sunbathing on an iceberg.
The ride back to Exploradores River was on flat water without a wave! Halfway there a pack of dolphins was out feeding on fish.
On the river mouth we unloaded the gear into an old van and drove the 10 Km of road before we did the last river crossing on a small rowing boat.
On the other side we loaded everything into Thomas´s van and drove back to Coyhaique. We meet the pillow at 4am in the morning!
Now we will do reorganization before we head out for a small adventure close to Coyhaique.
What an amazing day!
Clear sky, no wind, snow capped mountains all around us, and still the mighty Lautaro towering in front. We did 25 km today, skied for 8,5 hours in good conditions.
A few large crevasses which we easily could bypass in the clear weather, and the rest smooth skiing and good conditions. We can see some mighty mountains in the front but not sure if it is Fitzroy or Cerro Torre. We will see when we get closer in a couple of days, weather forecast for tomorrow is not so good, but later it is supposed to improve.
Alt +1457 m
09-Nov-2013 23:50:00 UTC
Yesterday was another long day. We started at about 9am and were back at 6:30pm. It took us all this time to head back up the mountain to pick up our last load of equipment and come down. Again the weather was excellent, sunny and beautiful , and we had amazing views over the glacier San Rafael all day long.
Truly this has been an amazing trip, something out of your wildest dreams. We were very lucky from the start, even had some days of rest, and then this last two days in the cabin where we have enjoyed very much. I think we could even turn around and head back again over the glaciers !
Now we are standing by the lagoon, great views, a lot of icebergs, big birds flying over us, and just a minute ago there were wildcats where I am standing now. Just the most amazing surroundings.
So, we are ready to go onboard our boat later on. All conditions are fine, there is no wind, it is sunny with just a little bit of overcast, so I believe we will be back in Coyhaique soon. Once there we will reorganize our stuff, and since we still have a few days left, we are leaving on the 15th-16th, we may go for a little kayak trip. But that we will decide as we go. It is just so good to have a bit of time for different activities here in Patagonia.
So that’s all for now, regards from all team !
|What a day! Started with the last load up the ridge where we left the depot yesterday and further onto the ice.With this route we bypassed the whole section called the ramp, with heavy crevasses and ice towers. Plateau stretched out in front of us as we said goodbye to the pacific and headed south east towards Cerro Torre and Argentine.
We skied 15 km and are now at 1536 metres, which is about the top of the plateau. It is a different world up here, colder, drifting snow with magic mountains all around us. In front of us the 4000 meter high volcano Lautaro, the highest mountain around here, is towering up in the middle of the icecap.
No more difficult crevasse fields to negotiate and a day to celebrate!
Lat-48deg35'15" Lon-73deg33'46" Alt +1554 m (17m ago) 09-Nov-2013 00:01:34 UTC
Yesterday it was a day of exploring around our hut. This is a magnificent area, and although it was raining, we had a great day. Quite a lot of wildlife around the area and we were lucky to spot some wildcats and what we believe to be a "pudu", the second smallest deer in the world.
This is an endangered species and is only found here in Southern Andes of Chile and Argentina (it's cousin, from the same family is even smaller but lives further up North, by Peru, Colombia and Ecuador). We are not 100% percent sure about this sighting, but it was definitely small !
The weather cleared up overnight and today it is nice and sunny again. I can't believe how lucky we have been with weather, specially for our long work days.
So today we are heading up the mountain again, retrieve some more equipment, and be ready at the shore tomorrow for our pick-up, which will be around noon.
Saludos desde Patagonia !
Astrid, Gro, Petter and Bengt.View 5 comments
|It’s strange to be on a trip for a week and still see the place we entered the glacier in the background. But today has been a good day. Terrain towards the ramp was in between large crevasses spread out in a gentle patter and we were able to zig zag in between without problems. The glacier has changed a lot since I was here 10 years ago and the ramp we successfully ascended back in 2003 was simply just a mess of huge ice blocks. Not nice at all. So we skied up a side valley instead, to access a ridge that runs parallel to the ramp. We have now hauled one load on equipment to 1000 metres high, and it looks good ahead! A few more crevasses, but in the back the plateau is streching out ahead. So finally we get paid for all the hard work and we look forward to start with the plateau.Regards, Borge.|
Yesterday was a long day walking, a lot of loose stones and sand, we came down all the way from the edge of the glacier to the lake, where we are now.We stayed for a while with the rangers in the lagoon. We have rented a small cabin, place for five, no shower ,but we do have running water, where we are now, having a great time !
So today is raining a little, not bad, and we are taking another easy day. Tomorrow we wil head up again up towards the edge of the glacier, pick up the rest of equipment.
That is all for now, almost back in civilization now.
Regards from Patagonia !
|Today has been another day in between the ice giants of the Jorge Mont glacier, We now have to enter the middle of the glacier to get to the ramp that will take us to the plateau.
Last night Ola and I were out searching for a route, we thought we saw a possible way, and tried that this morning. Unfortunately it was too crevassed and dangerous, so we had to retreat after spending five hours fighting the ice. Then we scouted another route and this time found a good and safe way.
Skiing roped up into huge snow filled crevasses, we spend the other half of the day moving through and out onto flatter ground, where we are now camped.
Weather doesn’t look very good for tomorrow, but we will try to find a route up the ramp and to the plateau, hopefully with one load of equipment.
Our position: Lat-48deg25'58" Lon-73deg34'31" Alt +615 m (6s ago) 07-Nov-2013 00:57:06 UTC
Borge, from Southern Patagonia Icecap
Not much to say about yesterday.
It was another late wake up and beautiful day. We walked about 4 hours total, bringing equipment down to the campsite, by the San Rafael lagoon, where we will be picked up on the 9th. This is the one of the fastest crossing we have ever done, no serious difficulty whatsoever...
We did have a little bit of rain, which didn't bother us in the least, today it looks good again...
Regards from the team, Astrid, Gro, Petter and Bengt !
View 1 comments
Yesterday was a tough day, fighting huge waves of ice, up and down in a maze of crevasses. We made perhaps 400 meters in 4 hours and had to camp on a snow filled crevasse. During the night we moved 9 meters with the glacier flow. But there was no fresh disturbance there, so it was safe enough.
It takes time with the sleds, especially since we need to use rope for safety. But routines are much better now.
The hard work paid off and we got through and up and into the glacier, we are now close to the ramp that will take us to the plateau. There is still a bit of work ahead, but we are done with the most difficult crevassed areas. Days are exciting and scenery spectacular.
All is well.
Our position: Lat-48deg25'22" Lon-73deg34'24" Alt +182 m (1m4s ago) 06-Nov-2013 00:55:23 UTC
Yesterday was a lazy day. We woke up early but decided to take it easy. We only walked for about 3 hours to the camp where we have most equipment.
We are leaving on the 9th, so there's plenty of time to enjoy.
We can definitely feel spring in the air here. Temperature is 24 degrees and sun is shining, it is like the beach ! Our surroundings are amazing. Trees everywhere, animals and birds flying all around us. We have excellent views to the glacier from our campsite, and only a 200 meters walk to where the San Rafael glacier goes out to the lagoon.
Last night there was some rain, more like drizzle, around midnight but we have woken up today to more sunshine.
Greetings from springtime Patagonia !
Weather is still very kind to us. Yesterday was maybe the best day we had. Sunny all day long and no winds.
So we went up towards the glacier again to carry down the last load of equipment all the way to the camp we are in right now.
It was a heavy day, carrying heavy loads in warm sunny weather, too hot now ! and we took lots of breaks throughout the day. Not mountain climbing but almost, as we had to cross a lot of very steep hills to get down our loads. We moved the equipment about only 2 Km in all day !
Today we will have an easier day, as we have confirmed our pick up for the 9th November, and that is quite some days from now.
So probably we will take a day off to wander around and enjoy Patagonia and the campsite we are in right now, from which we have amaaaaazing views !
Well, this is all for now, saludos from all of us here in Patagonia !
Another hard day carrying all equipment on our backs. We did about 2,5 km and 120 metres of altitude gained. Difficult passages with rope and crampons up steep ice slopes, and then carry across land on the other side. But at least we are on snow now, and it seems like we are close to the snowline.
It will be exciting to see what tomorrow will bring. There is a glacier coming in from the south not far from here, but we hope we can haul everything on sleds now, so we don’t have to go two times.
Apart from the hard but rewarding work the weather is really helping. It’s been a beautiful day, sunny and calm, which is quite rare for “Patagonis”.
Our position: Lat-48deg22'20" Lon-73deg31'58" Alt +457 m (12m58s ago) 03-Nov-2013 23:55:22 UTC
Greetings from the South,
First camp on ice! We made a short but important progress, covering 2,6 km, because we had to carry everything on our backs again, and that of course takes time since we have to go two times.
We also went scouting and unfortunately we have to carry tomorrow as well. No snow on the glacier this far down, a lot of stones everywhere, and huge crevasses which we have to navigate in between and that is anyway easier on foot with crampons.
So we will see what tomorrow will bring. The landscape is anyway beautiful with broken ice and mountains all around us, and in the distance we can see the plateau rising to the south. Hopefully we will be up there in 4 days from now. Weather today has been great. It rained heavily all night, but stopped 6, just as we woke up and started to make breakfast. Three condors were circling above us earlier today, a mighty sight, only 10 metres away.
Here are our coordinates:
Lat-48deg21'5" Lon-73deg31'17" Alt +357 m (22m13s ago) 02-Nov-2013 23:20:04 UTC
Yesterday we did a lot of work to finally get down from the ice. We found a very nice place for it and it took us about 4 hours to descend.
Then we went over the mountains and we arrived in the most beautiful place in the world for our campsite. High above we can see the ice and the San Rafael glacier and we have a view over the lagoon as well.
Weather was absolutely beautiful yesterday, and today it looks like it will be the same, a little overcast, no rain, just like paradise. We enjoy Patagonia, we enjoy being out of the ice and on firm ground again
I (Bengt) had a lot of different weather trips this year and this has been a different one, a beautiful weather trip, which we are enjoying very much.
Now the backpacks are still heavy, but not that much so it will be a pleasure to carry them!
Firstable the whole team we would like to say hello from here to Egil. He could not come on the trip, but we do think of him every day, we are sure he will like to hear it, and we hope he is enjoying reading this posts about the trip on the blog.
Yesterday we went to pick up all the equipment we had on the glacier. All day we walked around moraines and ice, with a lot of ice axing, no crampons though. We almost could have come without crampons for this trip. It took us 4 hours to get to the place we set the camp.
We have come across some very steep crevasses so we thought we will wait for tomorrow so we can take all the equipment down in one day.
Today the weather is rainy and windy, so we are taking it easy and waiting for it to improve later, as the forecast says it will...
Greetings from Northern Patagonia Icecap !View 2 comments
Hard but good day. Started the carry at 9, and were in camp 11 hours later…
We now have all our equipment up at 500 metres above sea level, but there is no ice here. The glacier has retreated enormously, and t is hard to recognize anything from the last time I was here in 2003. We are only 500 metres from our old campsite, but that place doesn’t exist anymore, and I guess the glacier has retreated 500 metres horizontally and 100 metres vertically.
So tomorrow we need to do a bit more carry. Hallgeir and I did a reconnaissance trip and found a good entry point. From there it doesn’t look to bad ahead, but we have to use crampons since there is no snow at this altitude. We also found remains of old expeditions there, some old skis and a broken kayak
Today we have seen the shy Huemul animal, the Patagonia deer (Hippocamelus bisulcus). Quite small and not shy at all, she has probably never seen humans before.
Weather has been great today, it started raining around 7pm, and still rains, but through the woods we had sunshine and warm weather.
Our position: Lat-48deg19'54" Lon-73deg30'33" Alt +350 m (11m32s ago) 02-Nov-2013 00:36:59 UTC
Yesterday was back to the backpacks.
We are about to move out of the glacier now. This last one we crossed was the San Rafael glacier, or rather part of it. It is one of the biggest glaciers here in the Northern Patagonia Icecap.
We carried the camp all the way across a small ice field, starting with backpacks and pulkas, and then when the crevasses were too bad we had to take two turns, first pulkas and then the backpacks, all the way down.
We found the place where we are going to exit the glacier and it’s Ok. Not too good, not too bad, but all together it will not be a problem.
So, after all, it was a very heavy day, good thing we were well rested. A lot of walking, part of it on ice, part on moraine sands and some with crampons as well. At least it was not too steep, only in some places. But as I said, at the end it was a long and hard day.
The weather was not too bad, we had some rain on and off, and today it looks a bit better. Now we remember all this sun we had before !
Everything is good, spirits are high as we approach firm land again.
So, talk (or write...) to you tomorrow !
Yesterday we sailed from Tortel and towards the glacier.The wind was luckily from the south so that we could access the inner part of the fjord, and carry all the equipment and a small rubber boat up to the lake.We drove with the rubber boat across this 2 Km long lake, and put up camp at the beach.
I knew there were trout there, so I brought a fishing rod. We quickly got three nice trouts, before Vince borrowed it and got a 2 kg.
Today we have done the first carry , up to about 400 metres alktritude. We didnt reach the ice, but are happy with the progeess. It was a hard day, we did almost 12 hours through the jungle, cutting branches and bushes with machete. But now we have a good path and will leave the lower camp, and hopefully be on the ice tomorrow.
Weather looks good for the first part of the day, so hopefully we will get through the jungle before it starts to rain.
Today has been a beautiful day with mostly sun.
We are all well and spirits are high.