Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Los Vientos de Patagonia
Hola chicos and chicas, Just got back down from an attempt on the Austrian Route on Aguja de la S, a peak next to the towering giants of Poincenot and Fitz Roy. The weather for the weekend was forecasted as being a good high-pressure system, but as it drew closer, looked as theough wind would play a large factor in determining the fates of most parties up in the mountains. Me and my partner hiked up from town to the Vivac de Cueva just underneath the glacier in about 7 hours, and made a camp just outside the cave due to high occupancy.
Despite getting an alpine start, making tracks across the glacier just as the sun was rising, and climbing the initial 150m 50/60 degree snow ramp in good time, we just weren´t able to make it happen with the weather window closing in on us.
The first half of the route, a clean dihedral system running up 300m to the col, is sheltered from the fierce westerly winds, but when it started snowing just as I finished leading the 4th rock pitch in boots, we decided to pull the plug as the summit was no longer an option. The storm continued to close in, and as we postholed out, we were repeatedly knocked off our feet by some of the strongest gusts I have ever felt.
I left all my gear cached up at the cave, and am planning on heading back up after this week of poor weather clears out. For now, David, Blake, Paul and I are cozy in our plush A-frame and are getting ready for the big party we are having tomorrow night complete with 2 30 kilo corderos (goat) we are roasting on the BBQ! More news and pics to come, stay tuned.
Posted by Ryan Huetter