Friday, February 3, 2012

El Chalten

After a ridiculous transit half way around the world Owen and I have made it to El Chalten in Argentina. Climbers we met at the airport who were leaving spoke of one of the best seasons in terms of weather for a long time. Apparently we had recently missed an unheard of 6 day weather window. The downside to all this is that there had been too much melting and large rockfalls were common and the schrund at the base of the walls had become so wide it had become hard to cross. So it is a good thing the weather has taken a turn for the worse this week dumping new snow up high. We need the time to get ourselves organised anyway. 

El Chalten is a tourist town catering to trekkers and climbers and is jam packed with people so we have managed to get ourselves in at a youth hostel till Monday when we have organised an apartment above a bakery for the remaining 5 weeks. The other option is to camp but with 50kg's of gear each we decided the cushy way was the way to go (Thanks to Seth and Sea to Summit for helping me out replacing all my old gear!). We plan to head up to Paso Superior to familiarise ourselves with the walk and stash some gear during this bad weather period in preparation for attempting the Franco-Argentine route on Mt Fitzroy. There is also a lot of sport climbing and bouldering around El Chalten where the weather is much nicer. We did some sport climbing yesterday and have a boulder festival on tomorrow so there is plenty to keep us busy.
El Chalten with Mt Fitzroy in the distance.
Mt Fitzroy
Its windy up there!

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