Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Los Arenales, climbing and outdoor adventuring

On a whim, I was able to persuade my Canadian friend Eric to extend his stay a week and join me for some long beautiful granite alpine climbing in a beautiful valley near Mendoza, Argentina.  Despite a bit of autumn-esque inclement weather, we were able to do some amazing alpine routes, including one called "Panqueques con dulce de leche," a 5.10d.  This route is one of the best I have done period and my memories of each beautiful golden granite pitch will remain with me for a long time.  The views off the 3500meter summit were unimaginable and gave added worth to my entire trip to South America.

We did several other routes and met some cool people from the states, Switzerland, and Argentina along the way.  The whole area is stunning and well worth a stop if in Mendoza.  

Alas the first leg of my trip is coming to an end.   I will make my way to Santiago and then back to Colorado on Wednesday of next week.  I am tired and ready for a little R&R.  Rest assured I will travel again...and probably not stop climbing.  Much love to everyone I met along the way.  This journey has changed my life, been tons of fun, and probably aged me 10 years (maybe for the better).  Don't expect the blog or the adventures to lapse, just the location.  


Cool old car.  The things you see while sitting on the side of the road, waiting for a a prospective hitchhike.  No luck this time, we had to take a taxi.

Our first objective.  El Zorro 5.10a.

The trademark Zorro crack at the finish.

So foggy and rainy we can't even find a 250meter tall piece of rock.  Better luck tomorrow.

A little adventure climbing followed by an adventure rappel.  Evidently I was off route... and on a big loose pile of gravel complete with an A4 rappel anchor.

A bunch of loose blocks tied together with old webbing!  Eric was stoked.

The Summit of Aguja Alto after our successful ascent of the 5 star route, "Armonica" 5.10b

The refugio/basecamp after a snowy and cold night.

Me on top of Aguja Alto, looking the other direction.

5 double rope rappels got us to the base and back to our comfortable shoes.

Seth cruising (ok he took, but it was really hard) his first 12a/b trad route!

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