Exciting News from Patagonian Expedition Race!

February 18, 2013

Reports coming in from the Patagonian Expedition Race show Adidas-TERREX Prunesco within striking distance of the finish line followed by East Wind and the US team GearJunkie-YogaSlackers! These teams have been enduring harsh weather and challenging terrain as they bike, trek, and paddle across Chilean Patagonia in what has truly lived up to its billing as “the last wild race.”

Patagonia Landscape
Photo: Alexandre Buisse – http://www.alexandrebuisse.org/

I encourage you to visit the Patagonian Expedition Race site tomorrow to see the finish. You can get the play-by-play from race officials at their Facebook page and watch the teams move across the map at their Patagaonian Expedition Race MapShare provided by DeLorme.

Here is a screenshot I took just a few minutes ago showing the three remaining teams as they approach the final section, a mountain climb followed by a descent to the coast.

Patagonian Expedition Race Map

DeLorme is proud to have provided inReach devices to race officials for coordination and to top teams for tracking during the race. I’ve been able to watch from behind the scenes, reading race coordinator messages and watching track info as the event crew worked through several logistical challenges. Pete Clayden, the Patagonian Expedition Race director, has been in close contact with me and gave permission to share some of his stories about their use of the inReach. I think you’ll enjoy them!

InReach saves the day…

During the early part of the race several teams were not able to meet the time cap set at Check Point 3 on the far side of a wide glacier. These teams had to return to the starting line for pick-up as this was the only way off the course. Three days after starting the race the teams arrived at the road however they could not get their sat phones to work (the required communications gear) and could not call for transport. Fortunately Sam from the DeLorme sponsored US team YogaSlackers had his inReach with him and was able to text the race coordinator and communicate details of the three teams waiting for pick-up. He coordinated a bus as well as Thai Food for everyone!

Sam-Pete Conversation

Sam’s message to Facebook was my favorite though… check it out here as it shows on the map where he was located.

Sam Facebook Post

A quote from Pete when he contacted me to let us know about the success story:

Chip,

These In Reach devices are just completely outliving our Sat phones, especially now Sam is in the loop and communicating with us. It’s helping us with a very complicated logistical problem.

A huge thank you to Delorme!

Pete.

The river crossing problem…

Five days into the race the Chilean Patagonia area experienced unseasonably heavy rains that caused river water levels to rise. Race leaders Adidas-TERREX Prunesco found themselves at a marked river crossing that had become too dangerous to ford. They managed to place a sat phone call to report their situation however race officials relied on the inReach that was tracking the team to determine their location and then passed details using the inReach to the Check Point crew to scout and arrange an alternate crossing location. They were able to share detailed coordinate information as well as specifics regarding the Check Point’s course of action.

River Conversation

River Crossing

Here’s a quote from Pete when he shared news of the situation with the Adidas team.

Hi Chip, I’m sure you’re following all this as we work the river crossing problem. Having the tracker and the PAT units is making coordinating this much easier, no crackling voices, no misheard coordinates, just clear information.

Brilliant!

Time for sleep now. Pete

We were very pleased to learn that Adidas-TERREX Prunesco was able to cross at an alternate location and continue without further incident.

Where are the YogaSlackers…

Last one but definitely the most exciting. I actually got to help Pete while he was in the field this evening! He sent me a text from his inReach while he was bringing gear to the YogaSlackers team. He wasn’t sure how far ahead of him they were or how fast they were traveling so he asked me to check the map and let him know…

photo 1 photo 2

photo 3 photo 4

My daughter Abby wanted to know what I was doing so she climbed in my lap and helped me find the YogaSlackers and determine how far ahead of Pete they were. We took our first adventure race coordinator role very seriously. Even Abby’s cat Jack got in on the action watching over my shoulder… Beezy the wonder dog was less enthusiastic as you can see in the background.

Abby finds YogaSlackers

Imagine an important tracking question sent by inReach message from the back country of Chilean Patagonia, arriving on my cellphone in my living room here in Maine… I was able to make a quick reference to the Explore map and respond with the information Pete needed. Looking at the conversation thread at the Explore site, it took about 14 minutes for Pete to ask his question, for me to find the answer, and for him to let me know that he’d found the YogaSlackers. Not too shabby for someone well outside of cell phone range in Chile texting with someone many thousands of miles away here in Maine!

Where are the YogaSlackers

Well, I hope these stories from the Patagonian Expedition Race have given you a good sense of what the inReach is capable of as a tracking and communications system. I hope to share more news from the race after it has completed. I’m sure there will be even better tales once all the participants and officials return from “the last wild race!”

Take care,
Chip Noble
Team DeLorme


Patagonian Expedition Race 2013

February 11, 2013

The 2013 Patagonian Expedition Race is about to start, with 11 of the world’s best adventure racing teams gathering in Chilean Patagonia for what is hailed as “The Last Wild Race.”

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DeLorme is very proud to be a sponsor of this event, providing the satellite communications for race officials as well as tracking for the top teams in the competition – all via DeLorme’s inReach two-way satellite communicator!

You can follow along as teams like GearJunkie – YogaSlackers make their bid for first place and share their tracking location through the course of the entire adventure.

Watch the teams in near real time at the Patagonian Expedition Race MapShare page and read details from GearJunkie – YogaSlackers and the Patagonian Expedition Race officials at each of their Facebook pages.

The race officials will be using the inReach to share check point details throughout the race, helping to keep all of the race fans informed as teams make their way through the course.

We’ll be posting updates here at the DeLorme Blog and at our Facebook page as well.

Let’s all start cheering for GearJunkie – YogaSlackers and the Four Continents – YogaSlackers as they get ready for the Patagonian Expedition Race to kick off!

One more time with the MapShare link…

http://share.delorme.com/patagonianexpeditionrace

Go YogaSlackers!

Chip Noble
Team DeLorme


Eric needs some Holiday Cheer at the South Pole!

December 24, 2012

Okay folks, I understand that it’s Christmas Eve and everyone is busy with last minute preparations and visiting with family and friends. I’m headed to a family gathering in a little while myself. I wanted to take a few minutes and ask all of the tech gurus, outdoor adventurers, weekend warriors, and other readers of this blog to help me send some holiday cheer to a good friend of mine who is a long way from home this Christmas.

Eric Larsen, polar explorer, outdoor adventure, and self proclaimed ordinary guy is in the middle of an extra-ordinary journey to the South Pole… by bicycle!

Eric Larsen

You can read all about his Cycle South Expedition and even follow along with his daily blog posts and real time map tracking. His blog posts are incredibly descriptive and bring you as close as you can get to the ice while sitting warm in your house at your computer.

Eric MapShare

His map is not quite as exciting but I think it perfectly conveys what Eric is experiencing… a long trek over flat terrain with few if any features to break up the monotony of cycling between rest breaks. The following photo is courtesy of Eric’s recent blog post and shows the vast white scenery that is weighing on him both physically and mentally.

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You will see from his recent post that he’s in the middle of some tough conditions with high winds and drifting snow. Reading further you’ll see the mental challenges Eric is facing as he approaches Christmas away from his family and new born son Merritt. I’ve never undertaken a challenge as difficult as the one Eric is facing but I do have two little girls at home and have been away enough to know how that can weigh you down when you’ve got nothing but miles in front of you to think about how far away you are from home.

My request to everyone that is reading this post is for you to take a minute and visit Eric’s site to wish him Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, or just good luck!

Write a comment on his latest blog post or like his latest Facebook Post.

After you do that share the link with all of your outdoor enthusiast friends that might also want to send Eric well wishes.

Eric is staying in touch with people back home and I’d love for him to get a Christmas update that shared how many people visited his website to wish him well. He has a solid base of followers but I’d like to see a spike of holiday cheer and positive energy headed to the South Pole to let him know that we’re thinking of him and wishing him well.

Eric Map

Let’s all hope for a tailwind and hard packed snow to carry Eric across the remaining 600 miles of his journey!

Thank you all for helping to bring some holiday cheer to the South Pole for Eric. Happy holidays to all of you as well!

Take care,
Chip Noble
Team DeLorme


Global Encounter about to summit Mt Kilimanjaro!

August 9, 2012

We’ve talked about the amazing world tour of Toby and David from Global Encounter on this blog before. They visited Base Camp at Mount Everest earlier in the year while we all followed along at their MapShare Page. Well, our self proclaimed “run-of-the-mill Texans” are at it again! Perched at 15,000 feet in elevation these world travelers are preparing to reach the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro within the next six hours!

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You can follow their ongoing adventure at their website global-encounter.com, or go directly to their Twitter Page to see all the messages they are sending to their followers using DeLorme’s inReach two-way satellite communicator. Visit their MapShare Page to send them a message and offer encouragement as they climb the remaining distance to the summit!

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Good luck Toby and David, safe travels to the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro from all of us here at DeLorme!

Chip Noble
Team DeLorme


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