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Patagonian Expedition Race

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Patagonian Expedition Race
Photo by Chris Radclife

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After a hiatus that marked the end of a ten consecutive year cycle (2004–2013) the Patagonian Expedition Race returned in February 2016. Dubbed by professional adventure racers as the ‘last wild race’, this event is the extremist one on a continuum of races known for their toughness. Chilean geologist Stjepan Pavicic is the founder, using the race to raise money to protect his native Patagonia from unsustainable industry.

While only a small percentage of people would ever consider registering for a race of this magnitude, those who are game (and prepared) will experience landscapes and places where people have rarely, if ever, been before.

Teams of four compete, navigating with only a compass, altimeter and rudimentary maps across remote areas in under nine days. The course changes every year, and is kept secret until 24 hours prior to the start. It will be up to each team to decide on the amount and type of food it will carry to last the full nine days. They will also need to strategize when to rest and sleep as the clock never stops ticking unlike other races, where day ends and the timer pauses.

WORDS OF WISDOM

  • As can be imagined, this is not for the faint hearted. Contestants must be familiar with the adventure race structure. They must be physically and emotionally prepared for extreme conditions also.
  • To give an idea of scope, the race is considered the manpowered version of the Dakar Rally, and the land equivalent of the Volvo Ocean Race. It is never the same twice, causing entrants to apply year after year.

Visit Patagonian Expedition Race

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Man with a backpack abseiling on a cliff face
Climbers scaling an almost vertical earth cliff in Patagonia
Aerial view of a solitary climber looking down a deep canyon
Aerial view of two canoeists in a yellow canoe paddling and looking up
Two two-person canoes paddling through choppy water in Patagonia
A lone canoe and paddlers in choppy water on the Patagonian Expedition Race
four canoeists on calmer waters in Patagonia
Peoplewith walking poles and bacpacks trekking through grass with trees in the background in Patagonia
People with backpacks and trekking poles walking through snow and vegetation in dim light in Patagonia
Trekkers descending a mountainside towards a lake
A man sitting in a canoe by the waterside and a woman about to get in
Cyclists going round a dusty bend on the Patagonian Expedition Race
Man with a backpack cycling in the dark
Aerial view of cyclists on a dirt road with snow covered mountains in the distance in Patagonia
Black and white shot of two cyclists riding through a muddy road on the Patagonian Expedition Race
Two men scaling a sheer cliff face
Published on March 15, 2016
Location: Patagonia
Country: South America ›
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