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Reconnaissance Trip to Malpelo

HK0NA Reconnaissance and Pictures Trip Oct. 23/30.

Observations from the HK0NA Reconnaissance Trip Oct. 23/30.

We departed from Buenaventura, Colombia at 13:00 UTC on Saturday, Oct. 23rd.

The trip to Malpelo lasted 23 hours. Usually it takes 20 to 24 Hours depending of SEA and WIND conditions

When we arrived to Malpelo the marine patrol boat was waiting for us.

They approached us in an inflatable boat and took us to the island.

The first day the climbing to Malpelo on the rope ladder was tough.

Although the sea level (TIDE) was high and we only had to climb 3 steps, the lack of practice made it hard.

The experience of the inflatable boat driver is essential for this operation.

Faber HK6F says is possible to avoid using the ladder. We could get onto Malpelo with a pulley and harness arrangement pulling from above the same way you pull a load up.

The climb to the Navy marine’s house is very steep, with slopes of 60 degrees, we had to climb very high steps once in a while, it took us 20 minutes to get from “ el tangon” (the rope ladder and catenary) to the house. We arrived completely exhausted.

There isn´t a clear marked path, we had to climb through volcanic rocks.

They were birds nest everywhere, birds were very aggressive. I suffered two attacks that injured my legs.

The house that they will lend us while during the expedition is very small, in the first level there is a toilet and a bit of space, upstairs there is a space that is currently used as a warehouse.

We took the position by using a GPS and a compass. From that location, the mountains block all views towards the southwest, west and north between 220 degrees and 10 degrees.

We climbed with the marines to the highest point of the island. The rise is vertical too, with a slope of 60 degrees, volcanic rocks, in some parts you have to use your hands to get up. Before we arrived to the top we had to climb a vertical wall with a rope, the wall is about 20 meters high. Is not that hard to climb because the rock is not smooth, you can support your feet and use the rope to make sure you don’t fall. It took us 40 minutes from the house to the top of the mountain.

There we found the lighthouse, a 360 degree view at 300 meters of height above the sea… The top is solid rock and part volcanicrock. The useable area is 80 meters long and 20 to 30 meters wide.
Towards the south there is a lower top, 240 meters tall, with steep volcanic rocks. It takes also 40 minutes from the house to the second top. The highest mountain blocks the north between 320 to 40 degrees. For all other directions there is excellent visibility.


The water on the island is collected from the highest top of the mountain. It is possible to use it to get a bath, but this is a better activity to do on the boat.


At the highest parts, is not possible to establish a camp, only an operating site. We can set our camp around the navy house. We will have to climb up and down every day to the operation sites.

Temperature and climate

The marines told us the temperatures are not extreme. The temperature during the day rises to 30 degrees Celsius and at night drops 18 degrees. Of course, inside the operating tents it will be warmer.

We do not expect any rain in January, but on Malpelo, the rain isn’t very heavy, only sprinkles.

There are strong winds once in a while, south winds predominates, in January we are expecting north east winds.

Ok team, I Hope you have a small idea of what is waiting for us. My advice…continue your workouts…you must be in good physical shape!