Showing posts with label Chile. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chile. Show all posts

Video: The Atacama Night Sky in Timelapse

The Atacama Desert in northern Chile is the driest place on Earth. It also happens to be one of my favorite places on Earth. It is an amazing destination filled with stunning landscapes and fantastic opportunities for adventure. The Atacama is also home to the most breathtaking night skies I have ever seen in all my travels. This video gives us a glimpse of this special place and what it is like there at night. Nothing can truly prepare you for the sights that you'll discover in the desert, but this clip comes about as close to anything else that I've found, save going there yourself.

ATACAMA from Adhemar Duro on Vimeo.

Video: Exploring the Atacama Desert by Unicycle

We've seen some unique modes of transportation used in adventurous ways over the years, but riding a unicycle remains one of the most unusual. In this video, we follow an adventurous unicyclist as he rides his one-wheeled bike through some impressive landscapes in the Atacama Desert of Northern Chile. These are places I'd love to mountain bike, but I'd prefer to do it with two wheels, thank you very much. Still, it is impressive to watch nonetheless.

Video: Mountain Biking Patagonia

Take a beautiful journey through the wilds of Patagonia in this great video. We'll head out with pro rider Matt Hunter and friends as the explore this incredible setting from the seat of their Specialized Bikes. What they find, is a place unlike any other, with some unbelievable trails to ride. Having just gotten a glimpse of this place for myself, I can't think of a better way to see this part of the world.

Spanish Climber to Attempt Repeat of Fitz Roy Crossing Solo

Back in February of 2014, climbers Tommy Caldwell and Alex Honnold completed what many thought was an impossible climb by linking up Cerro Fitz Roy and its surrounding peaks in southern Patagonia. The route was dubbed the "Fitz Traverse" at is involves climbing Aguja Guillaumet, Aguja Mermoz, Cerro Fitz Roy, Aguja Poincenot, Aguja Rafael Juarez, Aguja Saint-Exupery and Aguja de l'S, all in one go. This once-Holy Grail of rock climbing hasn't been repeated since, but a Spanish climber is about to give it a go.

Last week, Pedro Cifuentes set out for Patagonia, where he hopes to make the same climb as Caldwell and Honnold in solo fashion. Going in alpine style, and completely alone, Cifuentes estimates it will take him about 40-50 days to finish the traverse, which is considerably longer than his predecessors, who finished it in just 5 days. But, having a partner makes a huge difference, and the Spaniard admits he isn't up to climbing at the same level of speed that the two Americans can achieve. Instead, he'll look to be self-sufficient and travel in alpine style, carrying a 90kg (198 pound) pack with him filled with his supplies, food, and gear.

In total, the distance he'll travel will be a mere 5 km (3.1 miles), but it will also involve 4000 meters (13,123 ft) of rough vertical climbing to overcome. That climbing is where Cifuentes will slow down, as doing every pitch by himself will be time consuming and demanding.

This won't be Pedro's first go around with a significant rock climbing challenge. In 2013 he become the first person to solo all three Towers of Paine in succession in Patagonia as well. That expedition took 29 days to wrap up. Later that year, he also attempted a solo climb on Nameless Tower in Pakistan, but was forced to retreat due to incredibly poor conditions.

Cifuentes admits that his solo attempt on the Fitz Traverse is a long-shot, but he enjoys the challenge and hopes that his skill, planning, and determination will help get him through. He says, "I'm not looking for summits, but for experiences. It is not my first expedition, nor will it be the last. I do it for me, to enjoy, for the experiences, for what you see, for what you learn .... it is very difficult to convey what it means to face alone an escalation like this ... every second is very intense, thousands spend Of things, you're out of the world ... The top is fine ... but it's not what I'm looking for. If so, there are easier ways to get it. "

Pedro is on his way to the start of the climb now and should get started shortly. Hopefully he'll reach his goals in the mountains of Patagonia, but if not, perhaps he'll at least get the experiences he's looking for.

Two Wheelchair-bound Adventurers Setting Off on South American Expedition

Maciek Kaminski and Michal Woroch are Polish adventurers. The two men met 12 years ago, and stuck ups a lasting friendship that has thrived in the years since. Both have a passion for travel and adventure, which led them to exploring Europe together. Now, Maciek and Michal are planning an extended expedition through some of the most remote regions of South America. And, oh yeah – they both happen to be wheelchair bound.

Explorer's Web has the story of how these two men met at a physical therapy clinic and began hatching schemes of adventure with one another. They wanted to show that just because they were confined to a wheelchair it didn't mean they had to give up on their dreams of adventure and exploration. On the contrary, it has spurred them on to show the rest of us just what they can do.

In March of this year, Maciek and Michal applied for – and won – the Anderzej Zawada Award, which includes a monetary prize to help support young adventurers with their plans to explore the world. In this case, the two men had to appear before a jury and were given five minutes to convince them that they were worth funding. From the account given by ExWeb, they were very convincing. The two men went home with the prize, which will now help pay for their upcoming journey through South America.

On November 9, Maciek and Michal will fly to Buenos Aires, Argentina to begin their adventure. The two men will travel in a specially built 1996 Land Rover Defender 110 that is equipped with a roof-top tent for them to stay in, as well as plenty of storage for the gear and equipment that they'll take with them. The vehicle has also been modified from a manual to an automatic transmission, with both the gas and brakes now being hand-controlled. This will allow them to drive the Defender, even though they don't have the use of their legs.

The plan is to first drive to Cape Horn, the very tip of South America, and one of the most remote and wild area on the planet. The weather on the Horn is legendary, and sailors have gone out of their way to avoid that part of the world for hundreds of years. From there, they'll turn north and drive along the Pacific coast line up through Chile and Bolivia, before eventually turning their attention on Peru. They plan to visit the Amazon Rainforest while in that country, where they are even scheduled to meet with a local Shaman healer.

The entire journey is expected to take about six months to complete, although the two men are discussing extending it further. There is the possibility that they may continue to drive north to Costa Rica, and potentially all the way to the U.S. Right now, they're playing it by ear and seeing how things unfold.

This adventure will be a great travel challenge, especially for two men who have to use wheelchairs to get around. But, I love that their mission is to break stereotypes and prove to the world what they can do. Simply by setting off on this grand journey they are already accomplishing that goal.

Video: Dropping the 115-Foot Puma Falls in Chile

At the age of 19, pro kayaker Aniol Serrasolses became the first person to drop over the 115-foot Puma falls in Chile. The impact of that drop was so strong that it actually ejected him from his boat. Recently, he decided to go back and give it another go, this time looking to paddle a clean line. This video takes us to this extremely difficult and technical waterfall with Aniol as he takes the plunge once again.

Video: Living Alone at the End of the World

This video brings us the unique story of Heraldo Riel, a gaucho who has lived alone in Chile's Patagonia region for more than 70 years. He has a simple life, but one that is rewarding in its own way. Surrounded by one of the last great wild places on the planet, he has carved out an existence that is connected to nature in some unique and wonderful ways. This is a beautiful video that you shouldn't miss.

The Last Colonizer | DJI World from Brent Foster on Vimeo.

Video: Scenes From Patagonia

We all know that Patagonia is one of the most spectacularly beautiful places in the entire world. But, this video remind us of that by taking us back to that iconic destination to share some wonderful scenes of life and landscapes of southern Chile and Argentina. Truly one of the great wilderness destinations on the planet.

Moments from Patagonia from Ivana Varesko on Vimeo.

Video: Wild Chile Teaser

Chile is one of my favorite places that I've been fortunate enough to have visited in my travels, and this video is a short, but sweet, reminder of why. Just one minute in length, it gives viewers a tour of the country, spotlighting some of its most wild and beautiful places. It is a stunningly beautiful place with some surprising diversity. Warning: After watching this, you'll want to go to Chile too!

WILD CHILE Teaser 4K from NedoEquilibrio on Vimeo.

Video: A Timelapse Journey Through Patagonia

Take a four-minute journey through one of the most spectacularly beautiful places on Earth courtesy of this clip. It takes us to southern Chile and Argentina to wander the amazing landscapes of Patagonia. The timelapse images found here are mesmerizing, showing some remote, wild places that will take your breath away. We don't have to tell you that Patagonia is yet another destination that you should have on your bucket list. Watch this video and you'll completely understand why.

A Journey Through Patagonia from Amanda Magri on Vimeo.

Video: Beautiful, Magical Patagonia

I never get tired of seeing photos and video from Patagonia. Is there are more beautiful place on Earth? This three-and-a-half minute clip takes us to the southernmost reaches of Chile and Argentina to explore the landscapes found there. As you'll see, they are nothing short of spectacular.

Patagonica from Dapp on Vimeo.

Video: Urban Downhill Mountain Bike Racing Captured by Drone

The Red Bull Valparaiso urban downhill mountain biking race always produces dramatic footage, but we've never seen it from this vantage point before. This clip features a drone chasing pro rider Stevie Smith through the tight and technical course that tests him at ever turn. The footage will give you even more respect for these riders, who face challenges that are very different from a typical trail.

Best Hike Takes Us to the Villarrica Traverse in Chile

While I was spending my time snowshoeing and dogsledding in Canada a few weeks back, my friend Rick McCharles, who runs, was returning home from a month of trekking in Chile. While there, he discovered what he calls the absolute best route in the country while hiking along the Villarrica Traverse, an 81 km (50 mile) walk that he deems as quite challenging.

The hike takes visitors through remote wilderness that is dominated by volcanic peaks throughout the region. Not the least of these volcanoes is the active Villarrica itself, which looms 2860 meters (9380 ft) overhead. The walk itself takes place mostly above treeline, which helps to provide beautiful views throughout the trek, which takes roughly 5-6 days to complete.

As usual, Rick does a great job of providing information to readers about the hike, giving us tips about where to start, when to go, and what to expect along the way. He even writes daily summaries of the traverse, each of which offers really great information for those who would like to make the trek themselves. Not only do these summaries give you insight from someone who is a very experienced backpacker, and has walked some of the most iconic routes in the world, but the photos that are included are wonderful and helpful too.

If you'd like to hike the Villarrica Traverse yourself, read Rick's summary of the hike here, and then read his daily dispatches, which begin with Day 0 where we learn how to get Pucón, the start of the hike itself.

Looks like a great trek. Would love to do this myself at some point.

Trio of Adventurers Set to Travel From the Arctic to the Atacama

A trio of adventurers is heading north to start an epic journey that will span more 1500 km (932 miles) under their own power, and take them to environments that range more than 100 degrees celsius in temperatures.

The team consists of ultrarunners Ray Zahab, Jen Segger, and Stefano Gregoretti, who are currently en route to Qikiqtarjuaq, a Canadian island located in the Arctic Ocean, where they will begin the first stage of the expedition. Once there, they'll start heading south over the frozen landscape by fat bike and foot. Their route will take them to Baffin Island, which they'll traverse on their way to the community of Pangnirtung. Along he way, they'll cross 300 km (186 miles) through harsh arctic conditions where temperatures are expected to plummet as low as -50ºC (-58ºF).

Immediately after finishing the first leg of their journey, the three endurance athletes will next travel to South America to begin the second phase of the adventure. They'll be heading to northern Chile, where they'll make a traverse of the Atacama Desert, the driest place on the planet. They'll follow the same route that Zahab used when he ran across the Atacama on foot back in 2011. This time out though, they'll cover the 1200 km (745 miles) on mountain bike. While in the desert, the thermometer will reach 50ºC (120ºF), a stark contrast to the northern stage of the expedition.

The expedition has been dubbed Arctic 2 Atacama, and it should be officially underway in just a few days. The website is still filling in with information, but once things go live, expect daily updates on the team's progress, including status updates and videos from the trail. This promises to be quite the grueling journey, but a fun one to follow.

Good luck to Ray, Jen, and Stefano.

Patagonia Expedition Race Now Underway in Chile

The legendary Patagonia Expedition Race returned from a three-year hiatus yesterday when 18 coed teams of four embarked on what promises to be one of the most challenging adventure races of their lives. Over the course of the next ten days, the competitors will run, pedal, climb, and paddle their way across more than 600 km (372 miles) of the most spectacularly beautiful, and incredibly grueling, terrain on the planet.

Anyone who follows adventure racing has no doubt heard about the Patagonia Expedition Race. For years it set the standard for the sport, offering some of the most physically demanding courses ever. The famously bad Patagonia weather often played a role, with cold conditions, heavy rains, rough seas, and high winds often impacting the outcome of the event. Sadly, the race was off the schedule for the past two years, but has now returned bigger, and badder, than ever.

The teams arrived in Punta Arenas, Chile over the weekend where they went through mandatory gear and skills checks prior to the start of the race yesterday. As usual with an adventure race like this one, the competitors received their route information 24 hours before the start of the event, allowing them to plot their navigation points ahead of time. After the gun went off signifying the start of the race yesterday, they'll now spend somewhere between 6-10 days racing non-stop, 24/7 until a winner is crowned.

You can follow the PER on the race's official website or at It should be an interesting race to watch unfold.

Video: Traveling the Andes Mountains - Spine of the South

In 2015, photographer Eric Hanson spent seven months traveling the length of South America along the spectacular Andes Mountains. Starting in Ecuador and ending in Patagonia, he captured thousands of photos of the landscapes that he encountered along the way. The very best of those images can be found in this breathtaking video, which give us an incredible look at these amazing mountains. Sit back and enjoy this clip, it is gorgeous.

Spine of the South from Overland Collective on Vimeo.

Video: A Kayaking Expedition to Chile

This short film takes us deep into the Chilean wilderness on a kayaking adventure along a remote river. It begins by first taking a look at everything the paddlers must first go through before they ever reach the water, traveling great distances and working very hard before they ever even see their objective. But once they river is in sight, they understand why they have put such an effort into reaching that place, and the payoff comes with a sense of joy and accomplishment. Beautifully shot, and narrated, this is a video that isn't just about going on an adventure, but "why" we are driven to do so. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Kayak film 'Why?' from Leeway Collective on Vimeo.

Winter Climbs 2016: Teams Pre-Acclimatzing in South America, Gathering in Pakistan

The winter climbing season is nearly upon us. The season officially arrives next Monday, which is the date that several teams have circled on their calendar as the start of the big challenge ahead. This year, there will be at least five individual teams attempting the first winter ascent of Nanga Parbat, while there are none currently scheduled for K2. In the days leading up to the start of the season, the climbers are busy preparing for what promises to be a long, difficult season. And while some are acclimatizing elsewhere, others have already arrived in Pakistan and are preparing to begin.

The Polish Justice For All squad is the first to arrive in Base Camp on Nanga Parbat. The team reached Lattabo two days ago, and have been busy building their camp ever since. They've set up their satellite communications system, solar panels, tents, and other gear, and are now patiently waiting for winter to officially arrive. They won't even begin to head up the mountain until that happens, but when it does, they'll be more than ready. The team is prepared to stay on Nanga for the entire season if necessary, waiting well into March for their chance at a summit. Hopefully it won't come to that, but with fickle weather a common occurrence on the mountain, anything is possible.

Meanwhile, the duo of Simone Moro and Tamara Lunger are also in Pakistan. They arrived in Skardu last week, and while there haven't been updates since then, it is safe to assume they are now trekking towards Base Camp themselves. Depending on when they departed, they should arrive on the mountain before the start of winter as well. Simone reports that they had an armed escort with them, which is unsurprising considering the 2013 attack on Nanga Parbat BC by militants that left 11 people dead. The Pakistani government has taken strides to ensure that doesn't happen again, but it still weighs on the thoughts of climbers going there.

Elsewhere, Alex Txikon is busy acclimatizing in the Andes region of Argentina. He reports that while the altitudes there are helping his body prepare for the Karakoram, the climbing is non-technical, and the spring weather isn't anything close to what he'll face on Nanga Parbat. Still, it is a good way to get ready for the challenges he'll face on the mountain once again this year, as his team looks to complete the first winter route as well.

Finally, Adam Bielecki is also in South America acclimatizing, although he has chosen to workout in Chile instead. He reports that he is currently camping on the edge of a crater of a volcano at 22,244 ft (6779 meters), which is of course preparing him for altitude, but he too says that this is a non-technical climb. In a Facebook post he says that he is already bored with just hiking in the mountains, and is now ready for the real climbing to begin.

Both Alex and Adam will depart for Pakistan next week and begin making their way to Nanga Base Camp. Look for them to arrive around the start of the new year.

Right now, we're in a period of calm before the start of the winter season. After that, things will start to get interesting. The teams will be very busy acclimatizing, establishing their camps, fixing ropes, and watching the weather. Hopefully at least a few of them will get a legitimate shot at the summit this year. Those chances are few and far between, which is why the mountain has never been climbed in the winter before.

Stay tuned for more.

Video: You Will Remember Chile

Shot as a promotional video for the South American country of Chile, this clip does its job very well. With its stunning images of Patagonia and the Atacama Desert is paints an alluring picture of everything that Chile has to offer for adventure travelers. Whether you want to go climbing, kayaking, mountain biking, hiking, or horseback riding, Chile can accommodate, and offer so much more. It is one of my favorite destinations in South America, and would highly recommend to anyone.

If you do choose to go, Mountain Travel Sobek can help. They have several great itineraries that are focused on Chile that can introduce you to the wonders that that country has to offer.

North Face Founder Doug Tompkins Dies in Kayaking Accident in Chile

There is sad news for the outdoor adventure community today as it was announced last night that Doug Tompkins, the founder of The North Face, has passed away in a kayaking accident that took place in Chile. He was 72.

According to reports, Tompkins was on a kayaking trip in the Patagonia region of South America. He, and several others were paddling across General Carrerra Lake in high winds and strong waves, when six members of the team, including Tompkins, capsized. They were all waters that were below 40ºF (4ºC) for an extended period of time, which led to Tompkins eventually passing away due to extreme hypothermia.

Doug founded The North Face back in 1964 as a local gear retail shop in San Francisco. Later, he would also found the Esprit clothing company as well. Both would grow into billion dollar empires. Tompkins retired from the business back in 1989, and moved to Chile where he purchased thousands of acres of land, both in that country and Argentina. Most of that land was turned into a private nature reserve to help keep the Patagonia region free from developers.

Tompkins' legacy will of course be The North Face, and his important work in conservation. But in 1968 he was part of a four-man team that spent six months traveling to Patagonia and climbing there. He and the team put up a new route on Fitzroy, and documented their efforts in books and films. One of the other members of that squad included Yvon Chouinard, who would go on to form Patagonia and also go to great lengths to help preserve the natural landscapes of Chile and Argentina.

None of the other members of Tompkins kayaking team were seriously injured in the accident. Unfortunately, he succumbed to hypothermia in the intensive care unit of a Chilean hospital. I wish to extend my sincere condolences to Doug's friends and family. He will certainly be missed.