First Latin American expedition to Cordillera Darwin
Cordillera Darwin is a world-class destination for contemplation, navigation, mountaineering, and exploration. As such, it has lured adventurers from all over the world to its green and ice-clogged fjords. Although "from all over the world" is an euphemism, since among those adventurers there is a lack of who should abound: Argentineans and Chileans, who are lucky to have this wonderful cordillera in their backyard. The first recorded attempt to reach one of the great peaks of Cordillera Darwin was made by the Italian Domenico Lovisato in 1882, followed by English, Germans, Japanese, Americans, and several other nationals of remote lands. This trend, which is still far from breaking, suffered its first setback by a group of young adventurers from the Andean Club of Mendoza (Argentina), who in 1961, inspired by the photos of Alberto de Agostini, launched themselves in quest for the giants of Tierra del Fuego. It was an exceptional expedition, fuelled by courage, passion and ingenuity. And even if they did not achieve their objective, they made the first relay of a post that has taken Chilean and Argentinean climbers to many of those magical summits. The testimony of that post is still there, awaiting the visit of peoples of the Andes.
A gift that the Uncharted project gave us was the opportunity to meet Ulises Vitale, one of the authors of this historic feat, and who retains the passion for the mountains and the simplicity that characterized his foray into the Fueguina mountains. We share here a piece of their testimony, which was recorded thanks to the generous help of Rodrigo and Emiliano Vega Sanchez.
Not many remember this extraordinary expedition now. But at the time it was featured by the newspaper La Prensa on December 3rd 1961.