News and Updates

Day 6 in Patagonia
Written by Tonya Clement   
Friday, 20 January 2012 00:00

We woke up at 6:00 am today to Brad serving us hot drinks.  Our breakfast was a hearty bowl of mashed potatoes with bacon (we bring the already prepared bacon).  We had a casual start to the day.  We slowly starting drying and organizing our gear.....and saved the final packing to the moment when the sun was hitting our camp.  Just before taking off, we made one last trip to the stream for good water.  

Our climb started across the large bowl and up and over the looming saddle in the distance.  This was a fairly easy trek and we found it to be quite easy and very warm.  We wore our crampons for good purchase.  At the top of the saddle we chose to decend the other side with our crampons still on....which might have been a poor decision.  We were in some serious scree with large boulders all around us ready to pitch off.  Brian banged his shin pretty good from a moving rock.  

Once off the scree field from hell, we found ourselves in yet another huge bowl which required yet more decending before ascending.  It is always hard to lose elevation on a big route.  This bowl had some major crevasses that ended in a rather large moat against a rock wall.  We saw tracks going up a steep section to the left which we assumed were the tracks made by the chilean team.  The snow bridge that crossed the moat appeared frail but still holding as evidenced by the photo below.  We deemed the risk of it breaking low.  Before committing to the tracks to the left, Brad investigated the rock band to the right and peered over the top only to find a sheer drop off.  

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We decided to send me up and over the pass in the chileans tracks.  I had no pack, no coat, no gloves yet I was on belay.  I was just seeing if the way went....and yet, I got so far along the way that I was not comfortable turning back and downclimbing.  When I reached the top, I could see how far away camp two was.  It was fairly windy telling me that we really need to get everyone up this wall...and move on into the next bowl towards camp two as it would be sheltered from the wind.  We made a decision for me to untie and drop the rope....as there was not enough rope to belay everyone up.  I waited on top while Brad brought everyone up.

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Brad would now lead up with the guys tied in at intervals.  Once everyone was up, we could lower him to retrieve my pack. This took a fair bit of time.  We could have camped right there but decided to move on down the hill which entailed losing a fair bit of elevation yet again.....

Once we hit the plateau,

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we decided to set up camp just to the right of the rock that had fallen into the valley the furthest.  It is interesting how each fallen rock makes a pothole in the snow from the heat and melt.  Tonight Brad rewarded our efforts by making us a a mushroom stroganoff for dinner.  It was wonderful.  We liked our little camp out in the middle of nowhere.