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Expedition to Find Missing Plane on Tupungato

The following is a press release of an upcoming expedition called Star Dust Expedition from Matt Maynard (follow below on Instagram).

On Aug. 2, 1947, the British South American Airways plane “Star Dust” vanished on a routine flight between Buenos Aires and Santiago. For more than fifty years nothing more was known of the aircraft until two Argentinean climbers discovered a Rolls-Royce engine on the south-east flank of 6,570 m Tupungato in 1998.

Today, as the ice succumbs to climate change, more of Star Dust’s secrets are anticipated. Tupungato is a very remote and infrequently climbed peak. From its summit looking south, there is no higher point on the planet. This February a four-man expedition is setting out for the summit from Argentina. Along the way they will divert to the south-west face to spend two days exploring the crash site whilst acclimatising.

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Cover story and photography published today in @geographical_magazine from South America’s newest and gnarliest ‪#GreaterPatagonianTrail‬. . Laced with pumas, remotest passes and trespass – hiking sections of the ‪#GreaterPatagonianTrail‬ between Santiago and El Chlaten these last 14months was an experience somewhere between Reese Witherspoon's Wild… and the Revenant. . Find out more at link in bio. . Big shout out to under the radar bad-ass duo @_herodyssey_ for sharing trail experiences and proof reading; to Chilean Minister @diputadotorrealba for keeping me up to speed on his ambitious new Law of the Mountain projection; Joel Suazo from @andesprofundo for cartography and adventure expertise and of course the inimitable German explorer Jan Dudeck for his vision to create this monster. . . . . . . . . #thruhiking #leydemontana #montanaslibre #appalachiantrail #cordilleradelosandes #andesadventure #pacificcresttrail #chile @andeshandbook @accesopanam @laderasur @outsidechile @fulloutdoor @sudaoutdoors

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Glaciers in the central Andes are melting fast. Last Antipodean summer the Search for Star Dust Expedition team members collected a summit snow sample from 6,108 m Marmolejo to measure how black carbon air pollution is exacerbating melting in the Chilean Andes (see words and photos for Geographical magazine).

The Search for Star Dust Expedition will continue to add to this understanding, reporting once again for the Royal Geographical Society publication about the downstream effects of water stress on Mendoza’s viticulture industry and domestic needs.

Mysteries and artefacts still remain to be uncovered from the crash site. The chance of recovering the letter and its secret contents carried by George VI’s onboard messenger, is truly a search for stardust. But between Feb. 5 and 19, the British expedition will be launching their moon shot in the Andes.

British writer, photographer and Mountain Leader Matt Maynard will be leading the expedition. Award-winning Buxton based filmmaker Jimmy Hyland will also be documenting the expedition. The expedition has been generously sponsored, outfitted and carbon offset by Rab.