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  Field Notes From
Patagonia Ice Trek

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From Photographer

Thomas Ulrich

In most cases these accounts are edited versions of a spoken interview. They have not been researched and may differ from the printed article.

Photograph by Børge Ousland


Patagonia On Assignment Photographer Patagonia On Assignment Photographer
Patagonia Ice Trek

Field Notes From Photographer
Thomas Ulrich

Best Worst Quirkiest
    We finished at the end of a fjord on October 16, the last day of our expedition. It was the perfect place to finish. We simply hooked ourselves to our sleds for the last time, pulled our kayaks over the road, and found a hotel on the other side. We booked our rooms, and within five minutes I was under a hot shower. After 54 days without a shower, it felt great.
Expeditions don't usually end so easily. After climbing a mountain and reaching the summit, there's still some work remaining in order to get back to civilization. But this time it almost came as a shock, getting from the expedition to a hotel room right away.

    The crux of the expedition was when we crossed the Falla Reichert Pass. We started this section on September 21, and it took us until October 6 to cross its seven miles (11 kilometers). The terrain was uneven and dangerous, and we had to keep going up and down. It was definitely the hardest section of the whole trip. For five days during that period we were simply holed up in our tent because it stormed so badly. The snow was terrible, and we worried about avalanches. (Zoom in on the route.)

    We met people for the first time on Day 52. We were paddling on the Grey River and saw some small dots moving on the side of the river. I said, "Hey, those are people. Let's go and talk to them." So we went to the beach and approached them. They were surprised because it's not so typical for people to walk up to each other just to talk. In fact, at first they thought we might have a problem. But we had been on this trip for 52 days, just the two of us, and we were excited just to have new people to talk to. They must have thought we were pretty strange.
They offered us fruit and bread and even Coke. But we had to say no because our goal was to complete the expedition without any outside support. They probably thought: "These people are crazy! We're giving them fruit, and they don't want it!"


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