American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Chilean and Argentine Patagonia, Southern Patagonian Icecap

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1973

Southern Patagonian Icecap. Toshio Takeuchi, Takeo Tsuzuki and Takeo Yoshizawa, son of our assistant editor and vice-president of the Japanese Alpine Club, made a north-south crossing of the Southern Patagonian Icecap from Fiordo Falcón to Fiordo Europa. Finally, after bureaucratic delays, on October 23, 1971 they received official permission and naval support from the Chilean government. On November 11 they left Puerto Eden by boat for Fiordo Europa. They packed supplies and reconnoitered toward the icecap along the route they hoped to take on the way out. The Chilean naval vessel picked them up on November 27 and they returned to Puerto Eden. They were aboard ship again on December 3 and heading for Fiordo Falcón, where ice floes kept them from getting quite as far as they had hoped. They struggled through the lower terrain and up the tributary glaciers in the worst weather. The fate of the expedition was nearly sealed when a 5-gallon gas can fell into a crevasse, but it was recovered after several days of search. They reached the Continental Icecap on January 3 after establishing a dozen camps. They pressed on south in nearly constantly foggy, snowy weather. On January 21 they turned west toward the Europa Glacier and their cache just south of it. It took another seven days of hard work to reach the cache. Finally they were picked up on Fiordo Europa on February 18.

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