2000 – Polsk ekspedisjon til Nord Patagonia

I slutten av 1999 ble den første suksessfulle polske expedisjonen til Hielo Patagonico Norte, Chile, organisert av Tomasz Schramm og Andrzej Smialy. De hadde med seg teltet Svalbard 3 fra Helsport. Målet for ekspedisjonen av å krysse den nordlige delen av Hielo, og å klatre det høyeste fjellet i Patagonie – Cerro San Valentin.

Tomasz og Andrzej forteller:

”We were asked many times if we are mad and were informed that there are better ways to make suicide..

After landing on a magnificent shore of Laguna San Rafael, we started out polgrimate towards San Valentin on thhe 23rd of november 1999. Because of nasty crevasses in the lower part of San Rafael glacier, we were kneeling on a side rock of the glacier bed. This kind of activity took us six days, then we were forced to walk the same distance several times and that is why we reached the main plateau on 4 th december 1999. Then we found our pulkas as best helpers to turn our walk on a glacier to pleasure. After we survived on a for covered huge crevassed steed icefield, the way to the top of San Valentin was open. So we used it. We hugged one another on a summit after 9 hours climb in blizzard. Then we headed towards Cerro Cristal in the main ridge of Andes. Unfortunately, El Respiro (our name for the blizzard on Hielo) had the same plan. We met together soon and after six days of struggling we walked over just 10 kilometers. In very poor visibility we got lost a bit (GPS was helpless – there are white spots on a map) and at last we stood on a pass between Mocho and Cerro Fierro. As, probably, the first people. During the next two days we were stuggling with blizzards and gravity on a steep snow slopes, ice and rock cliffs. Seven pitches repelling were last moving on this favored by snow and ice avalanches area. When we set our foot on a flat glacier sufrace, we called this newly opened way down from Hielo – Desperado Pass!

A week long way back to human settlements lead us through rough and hazardous terrain of Fiero and Leon river valleys. We crawled home-size rocks, green hell og Patagonian bush and Rio Leon at the end. As there berries are commin, we fed ourselves with them during a couple of last days, when our expedition food had gone. We spent 35 days for this walk (from Laguna San Rafael to El Pedregal farm) instead of 26 we had planned.”

Andrzej Smialy, Polish Alpine Club