Cordillera de Fuego (Film)

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The latest Montanus project transports viewers to an incredible stretch of land between the Pacific Ocean and the Chilean Andes along the eastern side of the Ring of Fire. “Cordillera de Fuego” is a short film that follows them on a new route in the shadows of snow-capped volcanos and ancient monkey puzzle trees. Find the film, a photo gallery, and some insight into their gear and equipment here…

Cordillera de Fuego is a new short film that follows the Montanus duo on a bikepacking trip across Bio Bìo and Araucania, two regions in southern Chile. The story started some years ago when Giorgio and Francesco’s interests were piqued by photos from Skyler de Roches’ trip in Araucanìa. The two planned a route to explore the wild side of this area but had to wait until last April due to the pandemic. The film transports us into a timeless world, a land dominated by snow-capped volcanos, and thousands of living fossils: the Araucaria Araucanìa (Monkey Puzzle tree). This adventure led the Montanus duo to capture their experience using age-old methods of documentation and map-making. Watch the film below, followed by an overview of what they brought along to create it.

  • Cordillera de Fuego Film, Montanus
  • Cordillera de Fuego Film, Montanus
Cordillera de Fuego Film, Montanus

BIKES, BAGS, and Gear

In Chile, we rode two 2022 Kona Unit X rigs in sizes M and L. The Unit X proved to be a great bikepacking rig for riding both dusty gravel roads and the tight, twisty singletrack of Araucanìa. Here’s the list of upgrades, bags, and accessories we used along the “Cordillera de Fuego.”

Upgrades

  • Handlebar: Roost Titanium Riser Handlebar (780mm/20mm rise)
  • Stem: Roost Dominator Titanium stem (35mm reach)
  • Grips: Ergon GA3
  • Saddle: Ergon SMC Core (Ultra comfy saddle thanks to Core 3D technology that absorbs trail shock and vibration)
  • Wheelsets: Stan’s NoTubes Baron CF
  • Tires: Vittoria Mezcal 29×2.6 TNT
  • Air valves: HI FLOW ‘No Clog’ Tubeless Valves (15-30mm)
  • Cordillera de Fuego Film, Montanus
  • Cordillera de Fuego Film, Montanus

Bags

  • Cargo Cages: Topeak Versacages
  • Handlebar drybag: Topeak Barloader
  • Handlebag: Topeak Frontloader (Harness + 8L waterproof bag)
  • Top tube bag: Topeak Toploader
  • Stem bag: Topeak Freeloader
  • Half Frame bag: Topeak Midloader (4.5L on M / 6L on L)
  • Saddlebag: Topeak Backloader X (15L)
  • Waterproof storage bag: 76 Projects Piggy Pouch (0.5 L)
  • Cordillera de Fuego Film, Montanus
  • Cordillera de Fuego Film, Montanus
  • Cordillera de Fuego Film, Montanus

Accessories

  • Bottles: Fidlock TWIST bottle 590 + magnetic bike base
  • GPS device: TwoNav Trail 2 bike
  • Straps: Voilè and ‘Pedal Further’ by BIKEPACKING.com
  • Handlebar Extender: BarYak Ultra 2020
  • Anti-sway stabilizer: Topeak Backloader Wishbone paired with 2 Fidlock magnetic bottles
  • Roll-up organizer: Topeak Burrito Pack
  • Strapless quick release system for top tube bags: 76 Projects A.S.S. Anti Strap System
  • Cordillera de Fuego Film, Montanus
  • Cordillera de Fuego Film, Montanus
Cordillera de Fuego Film, Montanus

CAMPING GEAR

Our collective camping equipment kit is made up of one Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2 tent, two Big Agnes Star Fire UL 20° sleeping bags, one Big Agnes Rapide SL insulated (20”x78”) and one Insulated Q-Core SLX (20”x72”) sleeping pad, and Black Diamond Spot headlamps. We used an MSR Trail Shot to filter and drink water directly from rivers and to refill Ergon BH 250 hydration bladders just in case.

  • Cordillera de Fuego Film, Montanus
  • Cordillera de Fuego Film, Montanus

Cooking equipment includes an MSR MicroRocket canister stove, a stainless steel pot by Stanley, GSI Glacier stainless steel Cups, GSI Commuter Java Press, and titanium spoons and cups. We brought some ready-to-eat food by LYO (super tasty) and vacuum sealed sandwiches prepared with tortillas, smoked ham, cheese, and oregano. Bearley, coffee, chocolate, biscuits, peanuts, and dried fruit were part of our energy-boosting food, as well as the special Montanus Kit: pecorino cheese from Abruzzo that the Fratelli Marronaro dairy packaged for us.

Cordillera de Fuego Film, Montanus

FILMING EQUIPMENT

Our filming kit consists of a Fujifilm X-T4 camera with eight batteries and the following lenses: XF16mm F1.4 R WR, XF35mm F1.4 R WR, and XF55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS. The XT-4 is an excellent stills camera that also does an amazing job of shooting video. It’s the perfect tool for supporting our work out there. Moreover, the weatherization helped keep the ultra-fine volcanic ash out from electronics and lenses.

  • Cordillera de Fuego Film, Montanus
  • Cordillera de Fuego Film, Montanus

The kit includes also a Canon 250D (used only to take photos) with EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM and EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lenses, a Phottix Aion remote controller, and a GoPro Hero 8 with two extra batteries. The tripod is the carbon SIRUI T-025SK.

Cordillera de Fuego Film, Montanus

ABOUT THE CORDILLERA DE FUEGO

The Cordillera de Fuego is a 13-day, 500-kilometer bikepacking route situated between the Pacific Ocean and the Chilean Andes, following the eastern side of the Ring of Fire. The route starts in Antuco, a small town located in northern part of the Bio Bìo region and passes through remote places dominated by volcanos and araucaria trees, following doubletrack, gravel roads, and singletrack. Cordillera de Fuego ends in Pucon, a town on the shores of Lake Villarica, in the southern Araucanìa region. The GPX and details about this route will be shared later.

  • Cordillera de Fuego Film, Montanus
  • Cordillera de Fuego Film, Montanus

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