SKAGIT ALPINISM

Guillaumet x2

November 26th, 2013

Sarah and I have been in El Chalten for a week now, and just got back to town from our second foray into the mountains. On the 20th, during a nice but very brief break in the weather, we tried to make a day-trip to Aguja Val Biois via Paso Superior. We started from El Pilar at 2:30am, and hiked to Campo Rio Blanco in rain, wind and darkness. The skies finally began to clear […]

Winter, followed by Fall, followed by Spring…

October 25th, 2013

Here’s a somewhat late blog post, of the remainder of my time in Patagonian winter, and the journey back to the Salish Sea. While it was very cool to finally explore the Chalten Massif in wintertime, it wasn’t a highly successful trip for me in terms of climbing accomplishments. I made two attempts on technical, more serious objectives, but both times I was scared off pretty quickly – the ice conditions felt too insecure for […]

Domo Blanco and Cerro Electrico

September 8th, 2013

I had a bit of climate shock a couple weeks ago, traveling from the Squamish summer of shirtless sport climbing, down to a snowy, icy El Chalten in mid-winter. I arrived in El Chalten on August 23, and supposedly proper winter had arrived only a few days beforehand. People around town talked of a “pequeno verano” for all of June and July, with way above normal temperatures, sunny weather, and sport climbing around town. I […]

Thar she blows!

Summer in Squamish – Dedication to Rock

August 12th, 2013

When I finally finished university in early 2009 I was just about ready to explode, and for the next three years I was nearly always on back-to-back alpine climbing trips, making extended annual visits to Chamonix, Alaska, Pakistan and Patagonia. For three years I think I averaged about 180 days per year on glaciers! It was an amazing stint, and I felt very happy to be following my dreams in inspiring places. The one problem, […]

I tried to onsight the pitch, but ran out of gas after the first few bolts. Photo by Chris Christie

Spring in North America – Skiing and Crevasse Falls!

August 8th, 2013

NOTE: THIS IS A BLOG POST THAT I WROTE IN EARLY JUNE. IT’S ONLY TWO MONTHS OLD! It’s been an odd spring for me. Always for me the most difficult aspect of my Patagonia addiction is the conflict it creates with my skiing addiction, and after spending most of the winter in the Austral summer, I usually return home very eager to ski. This year was no exception, and after returning to Seattle I did […]

Jon testing the waters at the top of Mt. Lefroy's West Face

Adela Traverse

March 26th, 2013

I have been back home in Seattle for the past week, and while I often feel that life in Chalten is very busy, life in Seattle is busier yet. After missing all of the Northern Hemisphere winter I have been out skiing almost every day – the thing I miss most during extended stays in Patagonia. Thus, it has taken me some time to finally write about my last climb of the 2012-2013 Patagonia season. […]

On top of Cerro Adela Norte - my third summit of the day, and I believe the third ascent of this summit

El Mocho

March 6th, 2013

Last week there was yet another good weather window in the Chalten Massif. However, the window was unfortunately immediately proceeded by a torrential storm, and wet conditions thwarted many climber’s attempts. Sarah and I hiked into the Torre Valley with our sights set on some lower summits, that fortunately accumulated less snow during the storm. On the last day of February we climbed El Mocho via the first ascent route, the Bridwell-Staszewski. Although Sarah and […]

The rock quality improved as we got higher on El Mocho

Mojon Rojo – El Zorro

February 23rd, 2013

Sarah is back in El Chalten with me again, and after a few days of bouldering and sport climbing, we were back up in the mountains with yet more good weather. On Wednesday the 20th we hiked into the Torre Valley with our sights set on the enigmatic west face of Mojon Rojo. Mojon Rojo, while very modest from the east, is actually quite impressive-looking from the Torre Valley, with a steep face of red […]

Sarah at the start of the knife-edge traverse towards the main summit tower, with the Torre Valley behind, and the south face of Aguja de l'S on the right

Red Pillar of Mermoz

February 11th, 2013

With the clock ticking on Dylan’s two-week Patagonia sojourn, we have continued to try to make use of every bit of decent weather. Last Wednesday we hiked into the Torre Valley and up to the Niponino bivouac, with plans to try something on the Torres on Thursday. When our 2am alarm went off the winds were very strong and we went back to sleep. At the 4am alarm the winds were still very strong, and […]

Dylan on the summit of Aguja Mermoz

La Via Funhogs

February 4th, 2013

My good friend Dylan Johnson has managed to briefly escape his responsibilities as a new father and self-employed architect to come down to El Chalten for some alpine adventure. Since he is only here for a whopping two weeks, and since he arrived exactly at the end of the enormous, two-week weather window, he was understandably a bit stressed as to whether or not he would get to go alpine climbing while here. Given these […]

Dylan at a spectacular belay near the top of the Supercanaleta