SKAGIT ALPINISM

Ragnivenas Attempt

December 30th, 2012

Papa Noel brought a few days of calm but humid weather to the Chalten massif over Christmas, with poor conditions for rock climbing, but good conditions for crampon climbing. Jon and I hiked into the Torre Valley on the 23rd, and on the 24th we passed through the Standhardt Col into the Circo de las Altares with heavy packs. On Christmas day, we, along with an incredible 20-or-so other people, climbed Cerro Torre via the […]

Jon coming up the fourth pitch of Venas Azules

Tobogan

December 22nd, 2012

Last week some calm weather blew into the Chalten massif, but with cold and snowy conditions. Jon and I hiked into Niponino with some loose plans to scratch around on something while wearing crampons. After hemming and hawing for a while on the Torre Glacier at first light on the 16th, we finally decided to head up Tobogan. Tobogan is a slanting system of of ramps and gullies that climbs on the southeast aspect of […]

The line of Tobogan (photo from a few years ago)

Guillaumet Laps

December 14th, 2012

For the past couple weeks in El Chalten my climbing has been mostly limited to sport climbing at El Calamar, Chalten’s best crag. However, I have gotten a couple day-trips in to climb Aguja Guillaumet. When the weather forecast is marginal, and a day of approaching and camping in storm isn’t appealing, a long day trip is often the best choice, and since Aguja Guillaumet has one of the shortest approaches of the mountains here, […]

Manu leading the classic traverse pitch on the ComesaƱa-Fonrouge

Cerro Solo and Cerro Torre

December 1st, 2012

I have once again escaped to the Austral summer in Argentine Patagonia, returning as usual to the town of El Chalten. The nature of Patagonian alpinism continues to evolve at a rapid pace. The availability of reliable weather forecasts and route information (in particular, the publication of the massif’s first guidebook, by Rolando Garibotti), combined with a large number of very good climbers always on hand, has turned once-legendary routes into commonplace routes. The Ragni […]

Andrea leading The Helmet