Ice Fields and Oblivion: Update from ‘Last Wild Race’

The race kicked off six days ago. Teams biked through a night and then put crampons on to trek into the vast ice fields of Patagonia. Navigation into the white-wall valleys ensued, including crevasse leaps, glacial melt water crossing, and miles trekked through frozen otherworldly terrain.

Immense terrain, little people. A team treks into the ice fields of Patagonia. Photo © Alexandre Buisse

700 kilometers long, and with a 10-day cutoff, the Patagonian Expedition Race in southern Chile is still going strong. But beyond the ice fields, the tough course and horrid weather of the region has forced many teams to drop out.

Team GearJunkie/YogaSlackers is one of the few squads left on the course. Currently, it looks like our team is in 3rd place, with the British and the Japanese teams ahead.

A team rides through the night. Photo © Alexandre Buisse

These images, by Alexandre Buisse and Chris Radcliffe, capture some of the epic scenery and action already from the event. Stay tuned as the teams makes their way further south toward a finish line in Punta Arenas, still many miles and many days ahead.

—Stephen Regenold, editor of GearJunkie, raced with GearJunkie/YogaSlackers in the Patagonian Expedition in 2010 and 2011. Follow our team this week as they race live via a DeLorme-powered interactive map on YogaSlackers.com.

Endless icy view. Photo © Alexandre Buisse

Crevasse leaps required to make it through the course. Photo © Alexandre Buisse

Section map from the race. Note the ice field crossing

Kayaking across a frozen sound. Photo © Alexandre Buisse

Teamwork to negotiate a tricky section on the ice. Photo © Chris Radcliffe

Freshest water on Earth? Photo © Alexandre Buisse

More map sections from the course

Race uniform

Team Adidas-TERREX makes headway through the endless turbal (bog/swamp) on long trekking section. Photo © Colin Henderson

Birds track near a team kayaking across a fjord. Photo © Alexandre Buisse

Rare sunshine on the course. Photo © Alexandre Buisse

Team Adidas-TERREX happy in the lead. Photo © Alexandre Buisse

Onward across the ice, into vast wilderness beyond. Photo © Chris Radcliffe

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Stephen Regenold is Founder and Editor-In-Chief of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for nearly two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of four small kids, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.