My first trip down to Chile was with Yvon Chouinard, Rick Ridgeway, Chris Malloy, @thetorpedopeople, Danny Moder, @timmyoniel, Makohe and @jeffjohnson_beyondandback in 2007. We flew down to travel, climb, surf and also spend some time with Doug and Kris Tompkins who were busy building the multiple parks that were just handed over to Chile a couple days ago. It was quite the cast of characters. Besides making a film, we were there to try and climb the pictured mountain - Corcovado. Today was the first time I’d seen it since, this time from the air. Corcovado and everything else we could see from the plane, horizon to horizon, are all part of Parque Pumalin and Corcovado National Park, just two of several parks that Doug, Kris and the Tompkins Conservation team have been working on for last 25 years. It's difficult to describe the scope and scale of the project and the amount of land preserved without seeing it.
Doug Tompkins made the first ascent of Corcovado in the mid nineties, soloing alone to the summit. Our group made an attempt in the summer of 2007. After almost a week of bushwhacking, river crossings, scrambling and climbing, we had to retreat just a couple hundred feet below the summit due to terrible rock conditions. We built a rappel anchor in such bad rock (which was all that was available) that Rick and I weren't sure if we should stay connected to it as Timmy started to weight the ropes on rappel. I still remember the thoughtful look on Rick’s face when he looked at the anchor, looked at me, shrugged his shoulders and unclipped. I followed suit shortly after. We knew if the anchor pulled, we’d be stranded without ropes but figured we’d test our fate trying the impossible down climb as opposed to getting dragged off together if the anchor blew out. Sometimes you have to make a choice when all you have are bad choices. If you’re curious about the trip and want to learn more about Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins, take the night off and watch 180 South. It’s a good time. Check the link in my bio to learn more about the recent land handover, considered to be the largest private conservation land donation in history. @tompkins_conservation @natgeo