Crossing Piloto Pardo

One of the most beautiful and different excursions you can carry out is the Piloto Pardo crossing. On this journey you will discover a place like no other, impossible to find anywhere else on the planet.

Sitting in the armchair at home you can not feel the air of Antarctica or marvel at its views, however, we can contribute by bringing you a little closer to the figure of Luis Pardo Villalón, who gives his name to this beautiful journey near Chile.

Luis Pardo Villalon

Luis Pardo Villalón was a sailor born in Chile in 1882. The main feat known by Luis Pardo Villalón was the complicated rescue of the castaways of the famous scientific expedition of Ernest Shackleton. These castaways had been trapped on Elephant Island for eight months in the middle of the Antarctic winter. It was in 1915 when the famous ship Endurance would be trapped in the ice and carried by it to the north. The advance of the ice ended up crushing the ship and its crew had to abandon it completely to move in boats to Elephant Island.

Shackleton along with some of his men set out for South Georgia in search of help, eventually reaching Punta Arenas. It would be from there where he would leave together with Luis Pardo Villalón who commanded the escampavía Yelcho. The route they would choose would be south through the Drake Sea, crossing the Beagle Channel until they reached Elephant Island to rescue the castaways. The rescue served Luis Pardo Villalón to be promoted to 1st pilot, title by which he is known today.

In addition, he was also recognized a large number of medals such as the Municipality of Punta Arenas or the Patriotic League of Chile among others. After the rescue, Luis Pardo Villalón would retire from the army at the age of three. He died in Santiago at the age of 52 due to bronchopneumonia.

Piloto Pardo Islands

The Brown Pilot Islands are a group of northeastern islands of the South Shetland Islands in Antarctica. These islands have the particularity of constituting a separate group about 100 km from the rest of the archipelago. The Brown Pilot Islands They are bordered on the north by the Drake Passage and on the south by the Weddell Sea. As you can imagine, these islands owe their name in homage to Luis Pardo Villalón, who in command of the escampavía Yelcho was the one who rescued the castaways of the Shackleton’s expedition of Elephant Island.

The islands that are part of the Piloto Pardo Islands stand out for being high and mountainous islands, with steep coasts and an abrupt relief. Of all the islands the largest and best known is Elephant Island. Then, in size it is followed by Clarence Island and then Gibbs Island.

In addition to these islands there are also different islets and other smaller islands named Aspland, Eadie and O’Brien, a group of snowy islands that have their own history for the famous rescue.


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