Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Patagonia Climbing Adventures :: Día II & III

Blake Herrington on El Piramidal

January 25

We climbed.

Gear prep

Blake enjoying another route en El Piramidal 
Tuna + mayo sandwiches. Emphasis on the mayo.

Scott Bennett on El Piramidal

Scott sending one of the tougher pitches we found on El Piramidal
Bloody wrists - vale la pena

January 26
8:00 Sunrise in Frey, and I can't sleep. Sunburn on my shoulders and my general stench, combine with the whipping wind outside to bring me crawling out of the tent. Yesterday was good. I tested out the hand on a couple of pitches and we topped out on El Piramidal tower. Hand held up OK. Spent the rest of the day jugging pitches (ascending a fixed rope via mechanical means) and shooting Scott and Blake. Challenging lighting conditions, but hopefully salvageable. I should have made more time to prepare for the trip, but Japan and holidays back in NC made it difficult.

12:00 Today Blake and Scott will climb two of the tougher routes on Torre Principal (No Te Olvidarmos and Sinestro Total). Ambitious to say the least. I have opted spend the day shooting lifestyle shots - or in other words, hanging around the Refugio drinking matte, swimming in the lake, napping and stuffing my face. In no particular order. 

17:00 Folks sit in a scattered circle around tables with route maps, while a guitar, harmonica and drum are passed around - occasionally accompanied by voices singing in French, Spanish, Portuguese, German or English. Every once in awhile a particularly interesting show will come on the "Frey TV" (the tower some hundred yards from camp) eliciting yells of encouragement (or cat calls) as a climber wrestles with a crux on one of the half dozen routes that spackle the tower's face. 

sleeping in

the band

Lucia studying the route guide

rope modifications
El Refugio
Looking back down the valley from El Piramidal
22:00 I was thinking to myself just this morning that I wished I was more experienced with climbing in general, and the gear I'm using in particular. I've only just started shooting and climbing seriously a couple months ago. Well, tomorrow's the test. In the morning I will get up early to meet my new friend Julian, Lucia and their crew of Argentine climbers to try and nail a couple shots on the Aguja Frey...


  1. It looks amazing down there, Fofo! Safe travels.

  2. Some nice climbing shots. The camping looks a bit bleak tho!