In 1921, two Swedes, Nils Pallin and Allan Bäckman, described their incredible challenges and tribulations as the first explorers of the largest and grandest glacier flowing from Chile's stunning North Patagonian Icefield. Sited in a wild, stormy and inhospitable land, the kilometres-wide ice flows through ancient, almost impassable forests to sea level. Bringing their stories together with many recently discovered photographs, Martin Sessions reveals what happened before and since, especially the effect of climate change on this amazing, rarely explored landscape.
Martin Sessions, as a 24-year-old Royal Navy Engineer Officer, spent five months in 1972/73, monitoring a west-flowing North Patagonian Icefield glacier, one of the tasks of an 11-man British expedition. He next flew over the region in 2006 and was struck by the catastrophic changes. Returning again in 2007, 2011 and 2017, he led expeditions to measure the rapid surface lowering of the study glacier. As a result, he became familiar with the terrain traversed by Nils Pallin and Allan Bäckman and was able to 'place' their many uncaptioned photographs.