In an attempt to choose a flight back down to Patagonia this year, I have been getting so excited! The photos have been revisited for inspiration, the old friends in El Chalten contacted and primed for good times to come. And in this I realized I never summed up my last season here on my blog. The whirl wind of my life kept raging after the summit of Cerro Torre, not a moment to post photos and tell the story, and all of a sudden it is time to go back. Here is the recap to inspire us all for the season to come!
The summit of Cerro Torre, a place I never imagined going. And to see Fitz Roy glowing. I had just been there too. What a huge year.
The 2013 Patagonia season was mind blowing. Madaleine Sorken and I flew down to El Calafate together in early January and settled in to my favorite Argentine town, El Chaletn. It was perfect timing to hike a load to a base camp in really nasty weather, and then a perfect forecast allowed us to climb “Mate, Poro y Todo lo Demas” on the North Pillar of Cerro Fitz Roy. It was a pretty big climb for us!
Colin Haley chases (and catches us) on the huge North Pillar of Fitz Roy
Just back to El Chalten after a breath taking climb up Mate Poro on the North Pillar of Fitz Roy. Madaleine Sorkin and I had yet another Princess Cruise together. Pretty inspiring to climb a really big mountain with a great girl friend! Excellent hand jams were plentiful, and the Gringos Perditos variation was great fun, super cool sculpted holds. Lucky for me the 3 bivis were so much warmer then most I have had in this part of the world, and we had plenty of food!
The summit! Fitz Roy’s top is a very special place. I am humbled by its magnitude and feel proud to have witnessed it. Madaleine is feeling stoked standing tall next to the Torres.
The leaves are falling, golden and slow off the trees here in Colorado, which means it is perfect temps for climbing, as well as election season. There are huge challenges we face every day. Yesterday mine was flight logistics for the next climbing adventure in Armenia, it took hours. Most of the world population have really big challenges everyday. Clean water, food, and air are not an inalienable right for most people. What can we do about that?
At the end of a wild Patagonia season Mikey Schafer and I packed our packs for one more climb. There had been so much warm weather that it had created crazy rock fall and we were scared for our lives on our previous new route up St Exupery. The temps had cooled, and solidified the rock a bit. Our time there was wrapping up so headed out hoping to do a new route on the steep clean North Face of Aguja Innominata (also known as Aguja Rafael Juarez).
moon setting between near the base of Aguja Innominata
We left Niponino basecamp in the Torre Valley before the light, and as the moon set and sun rose we ascended the gully in fresh snow.
finally to the base of Innominata
This is one of Patagonia’s small mountains, it sits low in the Fitz Roy skyline, but is also hosts some of the steepest walls in the region. I was especially excited when Mikey spotted a line on this peak, since it is one I had never climbed before.
Mikey follows low on the route
Mikey generously gave me the first block. Otherwise I (and probably everyone else) end up freezing cold after all that hiking, and then just standing there to belay. Burr. I scampered up, scraping a bit of snow and ice off the first pitch, but as the wall steepened the climbing improved and it was clean and dry.
I'm headed for that ledge at the base of the splitter.
blowing trees painting
The last three weeks have been proper ‘patagonian’ weather. Could have been worse, mostly windy, and just a little rain, Noah didn’t have to come and build an Ark or anything … Here are some photos of how I have kept from going crazy…
we have been helping out at the Chocolataria
Astro Choss, the East face of St Exupery
After retreating from our first rainy attempt we went back to St. Exupery on a beautiful sunny day with high spirits. Our chosen line looked so obvious, a big corner splitting the East face all the way to the ridge. The sun rose golden, and we quickly crossed new debris from a huge rock fall that came from the south side of the east face. The morning was hot, and rocks bombed down from the fresh scar to our left, we were glad to be up on clean splitters that started our route.
I feel totally lame that I have neglected my blog all fall….. what can I say, I was having too much fun! There were all sorts of adventures, Lurking Fear in a push with Rachel Greenberg for her birthday. Then Snake Dike in patagonian winds with my Dad, yes dad. Burly!
Top of Half Dome's Snake Dike with dad
Then all of a sudden I was at Smith Rocks, acting like it was my home. Two days on one day off, repeat. Two days on lead to more strength more skin and some serious fatigue. Half the fatigue came from the serious chill that fell every time the cliff went in to the shade. I battled through with thermos’ of hot earl grey, a huge Fitz Roy jacket compliments of Patagonia. I was often climbing in a Nano! ack!
check out ESPN women’s web site to hear about my not so particular eating habits!
eating well on El Capitan cuscus, goat cheese, avocado apple and honey! breakfast of champions!