The adventure will begin on Wellington Island, situated off the Chilean coast in the Pacific Ocean, close to the 47° parallel.
The mountaineers will use an inflatable canoe to circumnavigate the Exmouth peninsula and leave the Eyre Fjord, one of the most remote areas in the world. Its 2000km coastline, from Puerto Montt to Cape Horn, is practically uninhabited.
Using crampons and ice axes they will proceed by first climbing onto the Pio XI glacier, the largest glacier in the southern hemisphere, and continue on foot to the Lautaro volcano, situated in the center of the Hielo Continental Sur.
From here they will continue past the Paso Moreno (1800m) and down to the Viedma glacier. They will traverse this by heading to Paso Marconi and Cerro Torre: weather permitting they will climb its west facing Via Ferrari.
The two mountaineers will continue from the base of Cerro Torre via the Marconi Pass and the homonymous glacier to Fitz Roy, one of the most incredible mountains on earth.
At the glacier front they will once again use their canoes to descend Rio Electrico, Rio de Las Vueltas, cross Lago Viedma to Rio La Leona and Lago Argentino, to finally meet up with Rio Santa Cruz. This zigzags across the Patagonian steppes for almost 400km before entering the Atlantic Ocean.
Weather conditions, in particular strong winds, will prove to be the greatest hazard, especially at sea. Some of the harshest conditions on earth are to be found on the Hielo Continental Sur, where gusts of wind often reach 200km/h and heavy snowfalls can deposit 15m of snow in a couple of days.
PATAGONIA by WATER team
32020 Livinallongo del Col di Lana, Belluno, Italy
tel +39 0436 7320
Lorenzo Nadali Via Casteltialto 2 40125 Bologna, Italy
tel/fax +39 051/6360134
The team has qualified for support from POLARTEC (Malden Mills, USA). Its POLARTEC CHALLENGE fund supports original projects that respect the environment, are at the cutting edge of sporting or exploratory achievement and which often prove to be an ideal testing ground for their new products. For more information:
top: Flamencos on Lago Argentino.
center: Cerro Torre
bottom: a view over the massive glacier.