Monday, January 14, 2013

El Chalten 2, Fonrouge Send

Never in the entire process of planning my trip to South America, did I dream I would ever have the drive, skillset, or company to attempt to climb such a wild peak in the Patagonian Andes.  The attempt was a dream in itself, to ascend to the top was another.  Aguja Guillaumet is part of the Fitzroy massif of sheer golden granite, the rock itself is roughly 400meters prominent above the snowfields below and the climb involves difficult technical rock, aid, and easy snow climbing.  The trip to climb the peak took roughly 4 days:
Day 1:  6 hour approach, establish base camp
Day 2:  Haul our climbing gear and water to the base of the route (about 5hrs round trip from camp) to save time in the morning.
Day 3:  3AM alarm start.  14 pitches of climbing, 2 snowfields, and the approach and descent made for a 15 hour day
Day 4:  Break down camp and hike out.

The descent included 7 60m (2rope) rappels down part of the route and then down the nearby col Amy, over a crevasse and then back onto the glacier.  We arrived back to our camp a little after 8pm.  We were exhausted.  The pictures do a better job of telling the story inbetween, enjoy.

Hitch hiking the 20km to the trailhead from town.  We wound up taking a remise, since there were no takers.
A little stream (river) crossing

Beginning of the trek towards base-camp

Rio Electrico, which we followed about half the way to basecamp.  Eventually we took a turn headed straight uphill, towards the Fitz Roy Massif

Basecamp, with our objective looking ominous in the background

The Fitz Roy Massif near sunset from our camp, looking quite majestic. 

Sunrise from the snowfield, as we approached the base of the climb around 4am.
More of the sunrise, as we began to ascend the route

Alpenglow on the Torres

Miguel soaking up a bit of exposure about 1/3 of the way through the route

Me on pitch 8 of 14

Me on towards the end of the route, pointing towards our progress on the topo.  I am a bit disoriented from all the activity.

Me, starting my block lead, early in the day.  Photo courtesy of Mike Smith
Me leading pitch (10?).  Photo courtesy of Mike Smith

Me rappeling over and into the crevasse.  Don't get to do that every day.

Mike beginning to rappel down into Col. Amy.

Our summit photo on top of Guillaumet!

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