Patagonia Rock Trip

Trip Start Jan 14, 2009
1
6
57
Trip End May 2010


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Flag of Argentina  ,
Saturday, January 24, 2009

After our 23 hour enduring bus trip from BsAs, we finally arrived to the lovely mountain town of San Carlos de Bariloche in Northern Patagonia. We stayed a night in Bariloche with our friends, Nate and Alisa (mad props to you both for all the hospitality and the amazing Bife de Chorizo!) and the next day, we headed off to the spine of the Andes.

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The view of the Lakes District of Bariloche with Nate and Alisa (the Lakes District is shared by Chile and Argentina). Off the bus and immediately on the trails!

With our rock gear, camping gear and five days of food, our bags were coming in at 60 and 50 pounds respectively. We were not stoked for the long approach in, but we found a great camp spot up high (above Refugio Frey) and even had enough time to climb some random rock near our camp. (The area in which we were climbing is referred to as Frey from its namesake Refugio Frey, an alpine hut that sits near a beautiful alpine lake surrounded by towers of granite.)

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This crack gave us our first taste of the Patagonian granite!!

Our first night camping up high treated us to a starrier sky than either of can remember. The milky way in Patagonia is beyond milky... it's a soupy mess of stars!!

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Sunset on Mt Tronador

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Views of the rock from our camp

The next day we climbed a lovely route on El Piramidal that introduced us to how adventurous the climbing in the Frey really is! Many climbs guide book off the beaten path have only been climbed a couple times, and few have bolts or rappel anchors of any kind, leaving you to bring your own tat or leave behind gear on the route.

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El Piramidel in morning light. Absolutely spectacular granite!
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Views of other granite spires on our approach to El Piramidel
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Lindsey looking at the North face of el Piramidel
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Lindsey getting stoked as we get higher on the route
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Looking up the route

Our favourite climb was definitely a route up Aguja Frey (aguja = needle). This 100 meter tower is ascended via beautiful crack and face climbing! When we got the summit, we were getting blasted by classic Patagonian westerly wind! We used whistles to communicate between pitches (shout out to Dave B for this tip!).

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Aguja Frey just before sunrise (the pointy spire). We woke at 5:45am to be the first on the route, which wed definitely recommend to anyone whos intersted in climbing on the Frey because its the most popular crag for its proximity to the refujio and its stellar granite. There ended up being a couple parties of the Argentinian military behind us on the route and we were glad we were in front for various reasons!

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Hiking towards Aguja Frey

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Lindsey arriving at the second pitch - Laguna Tronchek in the background

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L & B at the summit of Aguja Frey

Hope you enjoy the photos! Heres a link to all of the photos of our trip up Frey:

http://flickr.com/photos/benkunz/sets/72157612937004052/

We are still uploading these as we get internet access in between our errands.

We are taking a rest day today and we are pysched to have found a bus that will get us down to El Chalten directly from here so we hope to be seeing Southern Patagonia by the end of the month! If all works out, we will be back camping and climbing tomorrow!

Big props and thanks to all you readers (and commenters) out there! We love hearing from you!
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Comments

bramjw
bramjw on

Milky way Patagonia
Oh yes, damn, the milky way in Patagonia is like nowhere else. The brightest I've ever seen! Oh, those cracks make me salivate, amazing!

jcronan
jcronan on

Les Montagnes!
Looking good Lindsey and Ben!! Way to strike some serious poses at the end of a long day! I'm sure you're having a fantastic time! Lots of love from Seattle!

- Jim

krista.mcmillan
krista.mcmillan on

Green with envy
yes, i'm sure you've heard it before! That pic of Lindsay at the second pitch is scaaarrry! Ben...next time i think you need to let out the chest hair. NO need to be intimidated by the local carpet, they're very friendly! Love the updates;)

johnsolaro
johnsolaro on

dude!
okay, this looks like pretty much your favorite kind of day. awesome.

great pics...keep em coming!

maxkunz
maxkunz on

ahhh
HISSSSSYOOOOOOOOON!!!

granola1
granola1 on

Re: ahhh
AWWW YEEAH! Ya Gotta LOVE IT!

maxkunz
maxkunz on

ahhh 2
TELEMEMO

sallykunz
sallykunz on

So Cool
Must be really cool there...no nude photos, Ben!

sallykunz
sallykunz on

America Rules!
...and while you've been away, you've not only missed all the Obama Inauguration Ceremonies, and Barry Pepper moving into the neighbourhood, but also the Super Bowl of the Ages: On the last play of the first half, Arizona was on the one yard line about to score a touchdown.They threw a pass which was intercepted by a defensive 275 pound lineman who ran the LENGTH of the field breaking at least four or five tackles along the way and collapsing into the end zone in total exhaustion. The longest run in Superbowl history. They then had to administer O2 to him on the sidelines! True!
It was a game of great plays and ferocious hitting. Arizona took the lead with two min. 38 sec. left in the game. However, Ben Rothlessberger took the Steelers 78 yards in two minutes and their wide receiver caught a touchdown pass in the very corner of the end zone on tiptoe with three defenders bearing down on him. His toes were mere inches inside the endzone for just a split second to win the game, before he was puverized and shoved out of the end zone The Steelers myth continues. This was the Steelers 6th Superbowl victory...more wins than any other team. A game woprth seeing if you can pull it up on the internet: NFL Network?
Love
Dad

johnsolaro
johnsolaro on

Where you at now?
Hey dudes, where you guys at now? We need more info :)

- John and Mackenzie Solaro

benandlindsey
benandlindsey on

Re: Where you at now?
Sorry about the lack of news. We have been on the go in the mountains of southern Patagonia! These are the most amazing peaks I've ever seen and since they are right next to the Southern Icecap, they have terrible weather, but we scored an amazing weather window. As such, we just got out of the mountains last night and we have a ton of photos to upload, etc., not to mention that the internet is pretty crappy here! We'll get on it soon!

Thanks for keeping in touch!

therunningdog
therunningdog on

Gittin' R Dun!
Nice work you two! Your entries are definitely inspiring me to start thinking about a trip down there sometime.

How are the toilets down there?

sandlou55
sandlou55 on

Teacher's Pet?
Awesome adventure and awesome pics! Your parent's friend - Joe - sent me the link to your travel blog yesterday and I have already spent several hours browsing through your fascinating 'journal'. I will be making it my own daily adventure - from the comfort of my living room (sad - but true). I was one of your parent's favorite students (don't ask them to confirm that please - they may paint a different picture for you) when they were teaching in Salmon Arm a few years back. They were two of my favorites and I still manage to hook up with them on occasion. They have always been movers and shakers - and great motivators - and I can see the apple does not fall too far from the tree. Thanks for sharing your adventures. I look forward to updates on your world travels. All the best - safe travels. Sandy Gibbons

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