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South America, Tierra del Fuego, Monte Darwin, 1989

Monte Darwin, 1989. Our expedition had as members Takamori Kobayashi, Hiroaki Kino, Yoshiharu Sekino, Taijiro Maeda, Chilean Eduardo García and me as leader. We were a filming crew from TV-ASAHI of Tokyo. For the first of three months, we traveled by ship along the west coast of Patagonia and made an unsuccessful attempt to climb Aguilera from an unknown glacier. We then went to Tierra del Fuego and climbed Monte Darwin. García was on the mountain for the second time, having climbed it 27 years ago with Eric Shipton. He said that there had been big changes, the glaciers being smaller and the forest more extensive. We made our Darwin Base Camp on October 25, 1989. Because of the complicated terrain, we repeated the 1962 route. We ascended two glaciers to reach Camp III at 1600 meters, having camped at 430 and 750 meters. On November 4, from Camp IV at 2400 meters we had to descend 1000 meters before we could climb Monte Luna (Darwin III; 2300 meters, 7546 feet). Deep snow fell. We had to work very hard on November 6 to get to the top of Monte Darwin I (2469 meters, 8104 feet), getting there at 2:30 P.M. The summiters were Kobayashi, Kino and I. [There is considerable confusion about the Darwin peaks. Yagán (the highest), Monte Luna and Cresta Blanca are official neames. Two peaks vie for the name of Monte Darwin: P 2469, climbed by Shipton, Garcia and others in 1962 and P 2438 to the south, climbed by New Zealanders in 1970-1.—Editor.]

Eiho Otani, TV-Asahi, Japan