Thursday, February 5, 2009

Cerro Solo

With a short weather windown forecasted this week, and with a limited amount of time available due to the work commitments of my partner Marcos, we decided on a climb that would we be able to do in a short trip from town and without having to hike a big load up to one of the primary basecamps.

Sunrise as we begin the ice pitch


Cerro Solo seemed to fit the bill perfectly. With a bivy site only 4 hours hike from town, we were able to leave at around 3pm and make it up there with plenty of time for a relaxed evening, and even a chance to get some actual sleep (on an alpine climb?!).

After crossing the tyrolean to the other side of Laguna Torre, we made it up to camp and chowed down on some leftovers we had brought with us from town. With enough daylight left, we hiked further up to scout out the couloir that would take us to the corner of the hanging glacier.

The next morning we woke up at 4am and took this route up to the glacier, but found out it was the wrong one, and this one had deposited us underneath the middle of the glacier! Instead of wasting hours climbing down and around/bailing to go get some breakfast, we decided just to go straight up, which ended up being a 50-60 foot pitch of AI2.

Fitz Roy and Poincenot

Now on top of the lower glacier, we were able to traverse and get onto the normal route which ascends the safest terrain through the upper glacier. One more short section of steep snow and we were on the summit, at 8:15am.

Summit shot with Fitz and Poincenot in background


The views over to Cerro Torre and Fitz Roy were remarkable, but looking west towards the Hielo Sur, the largest non-polar ice cap in the world, and the distant peaks of the Cordon del Mariano Moreno makes you realize how great the scale of things is here.

We descended quickly, as the snow was beoming quite poor and the snow bridges were too poor to be walked over safely in most cases.

Just a short hike out, and we were back in town for homemade pizzas and a cold Quilmes.

The weather looks good for this coming week, so stay tuned for more!

...internet is unbelievably slow here, it has taken me over an hour to post these 6 pictures, so there are more to come...

1 comment:

Julie said...

"Cerro Solo"
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Julie
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