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South America, Chile, Journey Across the North Patagonian Icecap

Journey across the North Patagonian Icecap. The party, Cedomir Maran- gunic, Eduardo García, Miguel Gómez and I, reached Laguna San Rafael on November 25, 1963, in a launch kindly provided by the Intendente of Aisen. Two days were spent getting the loads across a number of streams to the side of Glaciar San Rafael and a further nine days packing up the glacier over broken ice, for the most part in very bad weather. This was followed by five days relaying eastward through a series of crevassed areas, which brought us to the edge of a fairly level plateau at 4000 feet, where we were able to use our two sledges, hauling on skis. From December 11 to 18 (with one day’s halt due to bad weather) we travelled 10° east of south between two ranges of spectacular granite peaks. From December 20 to 25 we crossed three passes which took us round the western flanks of Cerro Arenales. On the 25th and 27th we climbed Cerros Arco (9950 feet) and Arenales (11,400 feet); the latter had been climbed previously by a Japanese-Chilean expedition in 1958. Descending some steep ice-falls, we reached the snout of the Glaciar Colonia on January 2 and, after crossing the length of Lago Colonia by means of a rubber dinghy and a raft of air-mattresses, we arrived at the Río Baker three days later.

Eric E. Shipton