Malpelo Island, off the coast of Colombia in the Pacific, ranked #12 on the DXCC “most-wanted” list — but no longer! An international team of twenty hams from six nations made an astonishing 195,292 QSOs in fifteen days of operation. This set a new world record for “tent and generator”-type DXpeditions. And we were rewarded by being selected as DXpedition of Year for 2011-2012.
This near-vertical island of 86 acres represented an extreme physical challenge for the team. Team members were winched onto the island from zodiacs and then faced a 300′ climb just to get to the first operating site. Even more challenging was the 600′ vertical climb to the operating site located at the top of the 980′ mountain peak.
This video captures the planning and organization phases, the non-stop pileups, humor and local animal life — as well as incredible footage of team members climbing the mountain. In all my experience, this was the most physically difficult DXpedition of all.