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Exploration of the Darwin Cordillera, one of the last unexplored mountain ranges in the world


One day in 2002, at the end of the South America expedition, the loneliness of the extreme lands, as we sailed around Tierra del Fuego, a storm swept through all the clouds. Suddenly, in front of us, overhanging us with all its majesty, a mountain range appeared to us… The Darwin Cordillera, the last leap of the Andes, a stone's throw from Cape Horn. A splendor, most often hidden from clouds and storms. Immediately, I knew that I wanted to return to these places no longer by sailing at their feet, but by penetrating inside the chain. It was only then, when we started to mount an expedition with the designer Karine Meuzard that we realized, after two years of intense research, that no one had yet penetrated the entire central part of these mountains. … An entire territory to explore.
The Ultima Cordillera expedition was born. And we would quickly understand why the central part of these mountains still remained, at the beginning of the 21st century, untouched by man!

In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.

In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.

In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.

A first expedition in January 2004:

In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.

It was with two friends, Karine Meuzard and Raphaël Escoffier that we mounted this first expedition to the center of the Cordillera Darwin mountain range.

An ambitious expedition in view of the many difficulties of the terrain (access by sea, no map, primary forest to cross, extremely tortured glaciers, etc.) of the climate, and the failure of practically all the previous expeditions which had been attacked to the mountains of Darwin. The idea was, in addition to exploring the unexplored central part, to attempt the climb of Mount Darwin (or Mount Shipton), the highest peak of these mountains.

This expedition will be, in terms of the final objective, a failure, but will remain as a fabulous recognition of a mountain range very different from what I had known until then.
Nothing, neither in the Alps, nor in the Himalayas or in the other sectors of the Andes had prepared me for this kind of mountain, closer to a moving ocean than still mountains.

If the expedition was very trying, with successive storms, it was nonetheless an extraordinary discovery of a unique environment that I already wanted to find as quickly as possible.

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