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 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).
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.
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 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.
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…
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!
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!
Today was making earrings, I have a huge pile of stones from the beach, and it was like finding a needle in a hay stack looking for stones that matched to make earrings. It took 2 hours to pick through the stones, and in my frustration I thought “I will never find 2 the same….” call me particular, but it was hard!
Finally I had a pile of good ones, and put together 4 pair out of 50 plus stones….
It really made me think, who will ever know how hard I worked to create these perfect pairs out of unique found in the wild stones? And then it made me think even more, who will ever know how hard it is to make a salad grow from a farm, a chicken lay eggs, or a jacket that will keep me warm….
Our trip to Croatia was outstanding. Mikey Schaefer and I drove the coast from southern Slovenia to Paklenica National Park in late April. We met our awesome crew of Slovenian friends for an insanely busy Easter weekend, and they gave us a great tour.
Paklenica is a park with extensive limestone cliffs and caves. Anica Kuk the largest, rises 350 meters (1,155 feet) above the valley floor. It has a huge verity of routes from 5.9 to 5.13+