Anniversary of the Torres del Paine fire

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A year ago today, a fire broke out in Torres del Paine National Park that ultimately consumed more than 17,600 hectares. Here are some photos from our current Patagonia Photo Contest about this sad accident.
 
Support reforestation initiatives at www.reforestpatagonia.com
 
Participate in the Patagonia Photo Contest! Send your photos to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it until January 31, 2013. For more detailed info, see the contest rules here. 
 
 
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Rediscovering Bagual: tracking pumas

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As top predator, the puma has an influence, whether direct or indirect, over almost every component of the Patagonian ecosystem.  VHF radio and GPS collars allow Conservación Patagónica wildlife experts to monitor and understand the interactions between pumas and both endangered huemul deer and livestock.  However, putting a collar on a wily puma is no easy feat.  Winter’s snows make tracking possible, but even then, the challenges are noteworthy.
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Up close to the trout of the Baker

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The Baker River in southern Aysen is currently making more waves in political news than in the minds of fly fishermen. But despite the controversies over plans for building dams there, this remains for me the most spectacular fishing destination in all of Patagonia.
 
At first sight, the Baker River is imposing, awesome, unforgettable. The Baker's emerald-green waters rush south from Port Bertrand toward the Pacific Ocean, where it eventually washes up against the picturesque hamlet of Tortel.
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5000 Mile Project: Shoots of recovery in Patagonia after a century of over-grazing

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If you were to consider man’s impact on the natural world, it would perhaps begin with industrialization. Hot-footed in its path would follow a tangle of pollution, booming populations, intensive agriculture and over-consumption.
 
During the past 700 miles of our 5000mileproject odyssey (5000mileproject.org), we’ve steadily been running north from the southerly most tip of continental South America, a wild and remote region of the planet. A place one would consider relatively protected from this ‘humanoid’ onslaught? In reality, ‘Where there is a road, there is a way’.
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Patagonian realizations: Skiing the Whillans ramp on Poincenot

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Editors Note: Andreas Fransson is a Swedish skier who in recent weeks has been touring Patagonia. Salomon Freeski TV, which has just released a documentary profiling Fransson called "Tempting Fear," says he is "redefining the sport of ski mountaineering with his fast, strong and harrowing descents." Also called extreme skiing, and making descents of some of the world's most difficult mountains, in late September Fransson made a first (and last?) ski descent on Poincenot, Cerro Fitzroy massif, Argentine Patagonia. Fransson, who last year made a solo first ski descent of the South Face of Denali in Alaska, calls Poincenot 250 vertical meters of "the most technical skiing I have done in my life." He adds: "When it comes to ski grade rating I doubt I will ever ski anything harder. This is my limit." The following blog about this extraordinary feat is reprinted with his permission.
 
Recently, Bjarne Salén and I walked in toward the Fitzroy massif from El Chaltén. After about 5 hours we arrived at Laguna Los Tres and pitched our tent. From there we skinned up about 600 meters to get some good skiing and check the conditions. We found great snow conditions and skied down to our tent in the sunset.
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