Eñaut Izagirre, our friend and National Geographic explorer, who conducted Incognita Patagonia in 2016, left today on an exploration expedition to the southwestern part of the South Patagonian Icefield.
Eñaut tells us the plan is to check the status of the active Reclus volcano, "where pristine lakes and rivers flow down from the large icefield, making the area remote and unexplored."
Then, with funding from National Geographic, Universidad De Magallanes, and the Bilbao Mendi Film Festival, the team plans to traverse from north to south parallel to the Southern Patagonia Icefield. Making their way to cross the mountain range and reach the eastern fjord, the team plans to study the glacial landforms and glacier retreat.
The largest eruption of the Reclus volcano is dated at about 12.500 years ago, with the last known eruption being in 1908. However, traces of ash have been found along the region from potentially older eruptions. Eñaut says, "In the last years, minor seismicity events have been registered around the volcano, and thus, the team thought that an exploration expedition could improve the geographical knowledge of the area."
How will the team get to such a remote, unexplored area?
"The access to the area will be done by the help and support of Skorpios Cruises," says Eñaut. "[They] do weekly trips from Puerto Natales to the western fjords of the SPI, [which gives us] the chance to be dropped off in the area of Peel fjord to start with the expedition. Then, the rest of the traverse will be done in an autonomous way having all the equipment in our backpacks and not leaving traces of our pass from these pristine areas."
We are incredibly honored to be a part of Eñaut's expedition, and are looking forward to hearing more upon the team's return.