Conquerors of the Useless

If you haven’t seen it yet, do yourself a favor and check out Woodshed Films and Patagonia’s 180 Degrees South.

180 Degrees South follows Jeff Johnson as he retraces the epic 1968 journey of his heroes Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins to Patagonia. Along the way he gets shipwrecked off Easter Island, surfs the longest wave of his life – and prepares himself for a rare ascent of Cerro Corcovado. Jeff’s life turns when he meets up in a rainy hut with Chouinard and Tompkins who, once driven purely by a love of climbing and surfing, now value above all the experience of raw nature – and have come to Patagonia to spend their fortunes to protect it.






Beyond the inspiring story of the journey, at the end of  the movie you learn more about how Chilean Patagonia is under attack by an international energy company that plans to build five massive hydroelectric dams on the Pasqua and Baker rivers. The dams would drown large swaths of wild land, industrialize a pastoral region with growing potential for ecotourism and require the clear-cutting of native forest to accommodate 1,500 miles of transmission lines.

Once the lines are constructed, no river in Chile will be safe from the threat of more dams. The people of southern Chile and their allies worldwide are fighting against determined corporate and political forces.

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