The sending spree continues! December in Patagonia has seen unprecedented amounts of hot weather and beautiful windless days in the mountains, with windows coming every week it seems like barely enough time to refuel relax and catch your breath before turning around and marching back to new objectives.
After the Brenner Route on Guillamet, I vowed that postholing and bergshrunds were a thing of the past, and got stoked on rock climbing in the Torre Valley. The approach is pretty long to get up to the basecamp at Niponino or Polacos, but so worth it for the sheer amount of spectacular clean rock on the west side of the Fitzroy Massif.
With legs about ready to fall off, got up to the bivy below Aguja St. Exupery, named after the famous author of the Little Prince and early Patagonian pilot Antoine St. Exupery, to climb the stellar uber-classic mega good never ending 5 star route Chiaro de Luna (800m 5.11b). This route just goes on forever, finger cracks, wild flakes, chimney of cracks... We got a bit hung up on some rappels and ended up not touching back down to the ground until 7am the next day, but what a killer route!
Ahgooha St. Exooperee
With a big asado to recharge the batteries back in town, I hiked back into the Torre Valley, solo this time, to climb a route on Aguja Rafael Juaraz, for another warm window scheduled for Christmas Day. But the miserable hike in with a death-load tired me out more than I expected, and I snoozed through my alarm! So leaving camp a bit later than planned, I changed the game plan to the Austrian Ridge on Aguja de la S, a more manageable and mellow outing.
After a funky little rock step, I booted up about an hour towards the St. Exupery-de la S col, where I busted out the rope to make it up to a wild alpine bowl perched up below the summit tower. On the tower proper I followed a really cool chimney feature full of hand cracks and up to the wierd windswept fins right below the summit, climbing 5 roped pitches in all. What a rad way to spend Christmas afternoon, alone on a Patagonian summit, sun in the face, no worries.
I rapped back down with no hassles and made it back to my cave by 7pm for a nice dinner while watching the sun drop over Cerro Torre.
Awesomeness on de la S
Now I hang out in Puerto Natales, Chile, to enjoy the New Year´s with friends here, and to renew my visa before heading back to Chalten for another month of getting after it, this time with my good friend Geoff who is making his first trip here. Stoked!!