“Dos Hermanos,” First Ascents. The team (six Chileans and two Argentines), met at Puerto Natales, Chile, in early February, 1999, and after receiving the necessary permits from the national authorities, sailed north toward Puerto Eden in Isla Wellington. The ferry, which had Puerto Montt as its final destination, took two days to reach the small Alacaluf village. Some days later, we continued through the channels in an small fishing boat. We spent three more days in heavy seas to reach the bottom of Fiord Falcon, where we established Base Camp at 49° 34' 35.8" S, 73° 50' 26.2" W. The boat left immediately to avoid the icebergs; the plan was for it to return in March. The camp was well above sea level so as to be protected from the big waves that would come from time to time from a large nearby icefall. Two other camps were established, allowing us to reach four virgin summits with mixed difficulties in rock and ice in a range we called “Dos Hermanos” at 49° 33' S, 73° 47' W. (Dos Hermanos lies to the west of Risopatron, right over Fiordo Falcon.) Peaks climbed are as follows:
Primera (1250m) (49° 33' 36.1" S, 73° 47' 25.8" W), February 28.
San Jorge (1560m) (49° 34' 01.3" S, 73° 45' 05.0" W), March 1.
Escondida (1750m) (49° 34' 04.3" S, 73° 44' 58.2" W), March 2.
Punta Chilena (2100m) (49° 34' 01.0" S, 73° 45' 03.0" W), March 9.
Weather conditions were poor and only Punta Chilena was climbed on a sunny day. There are other interesting summits like Punta Argentina in Dos Hermanos, Risopatron Sur and P. 3018 (unnamed and the last unclimbed 3000-meter peak in Patagonia) awaiting future expeditions. Also in Isla Wellington, well above Puerto Eden, there are several virgin mountains.
Our small fishing boat had problems picking us up in March due to the icy seas; we had to wait until wind conditions settled down enough before we could leave the area. By mid-March, we finally returned to Puerto Eden, from where a coast guard of the Chilean Navy took us to Puerto Natales.
The region is still an adventure paradise for traditional exploratory mountaineering and probably will continue to be so due to the extremely harsh weather conditions (mainly winds and heavy snow fall) together with the absence of any human presence.
Carlos E. Comesaña, Centro Andino Buenos Aires