Glacier Descent in 4X4: Patagonia, Chile 2012

Back in 2011 and 2012 I worked as the Off Road and 4X4 Consultant on a Discovery Channel show called One Car Too Far.

Responsible for all the off road elements of the show, design of the 4×4 challenges, the off road and expedition prep of the hero and support vehicles and supply of support driver 4×4 instructors, we had to get the vehicles into some pretty sketch locations one of which was on top of a glacier in Chile.

The location was the Huilo Huilo Biological reserve in the south of Chile where we filmed the cold weather and jungle episodes.

Our goal was the top of Choshueco Mocho an extinct volcano who crater is covered with a glacier. Too steep to drive the the only way up was attached by a hefty tow rope (3 tonne WLL Lifting round sling) to the back of a snowcat and get pulled up… Once up that was us up there for 3 days filming, enduring sub zero temps at night, warm days, crevasses and volcanic rocks trolling down the ice slopes during the day as the sun melted the ice holding them in place… More than a wee bit dodgy in one of the locations that we had to get the hero car too.

Funnily enough the steepness of the slope hadn’t got any less while we were up there so going down was the reverse of going up with each vehicle attached to the from of the snowcat and it acting as the brake with its blade in the snow as we descended the glacier to the lower slopes. The vid doesnt really do it justice but it was quite a challenge and adventure in a most beautiful part of the world. We as in the off road team were very honoured to have had the experience to work and drive up there something that I doubt will be repeated again.

If you ever get a chance and you are in that neck of the woods in southern Chile male sure you visit Huilo-Huilo……you won’t regret it.

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