Alpinist 53

A Quartet for Silent Lands

Posted on: February 4, 2016


Jerome Sullivan near the summit of Riso Patron Central, the still-unclimbed Cerro Gaviota in the background. [Photo] Lise Billon

Lise: If the world were flat, our little boat would be close to the edge where the ocean cascades into nothingness. On September 17, 2015, El Principe, prince of the Patagonian seas, bobbed gently at the whim of the current, emitting a dull sound each time it collided against the floes that spangled the dark waters of Fiordo Falcon, southwest of the Southern Patagonian Icefield. Small pieces of ice screeched against each other. On board the ship, three sailors and four alpinists stood silent. The rudder was broken, and the vessel wandered without direction through a maze of icebergs. A soft rain fell.

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