First ascent of Selk'nam (video)

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By Michael Sanchez

Editors note: In the current issue, our mountaineering column describes the first ascent of the spectacular Selk'nam peak in Parque Tagua Tagua, located in Puelo, Chile. The author, Michael Sanchez, together with five other members of his Selk'nam mountaineering club in Puerto Montt, were the first people to climb this 400-meter granite wall, which they named after their club, opening up a new climbing destination in southern Chile. Here is a video together with the introductory paragraphs of the article.



Few places have as many attributes as this park in southern Chile: beautiful scenery, pristine mountains, forgotten lakes, ancient trees, crystal clear waters and endless landscapes to discover. Add to that this private initiative is guided by conservation and environmental responsibility, and we have a project that has the potential to benefit future generations of climbers, hikers and lovers of flora and fauna.
Our restlessness with conquering this beautiful summit has a long history, starting with the first time we saw these strange walls while sailing the waters of Lake Tagua Tagua. Not much was known about them, since they are so remote and isolated. However, once we learned about the creation of Tagua Tagua Park, opening up the possibility to reach and climb them, we immediately contacted the park management who gave us all the support necessary for meeting our objective. 
After a few meetings to clarify the details of our trip, we arrived on February 16 to the lake, with the expectations and motivation that characterize our team, which included the brothers Falco and Yetro Henriquez Zarate, Jorge "Chispa" Sepúlveda, Eduardo "Tepiteo" Flores, José Dattoli and yours truly.
Once in the park, we immediately focused on our goal: to reach the base of the wall, then climb. We walked about five hours on a trail that winds through the Valdivian rainforest, till we arrived at the shelter “Los Quetros.” From here everything is new, uncharted territory.
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