I think I finally got some pics to send out for you from our first foray into the patagonian wilds. It´s been a long frustrating battle with the computers here and the slow satellite internet connection, but I think it should work.
The first pic is of me crossing the Rio Fitzroy on the tyrolean traverse that is part of the standard approach up the Torre Valley. We shuttled 2 large loads of food and gear this way to our camp at the Niponino bivy site.
The sunset photo was taken from our campground in El Chalten. Truly some of the most amazing clouds I´ve ever witnessed.
The pic of me in the Bibler is NOT taken from the bivy site we were supposed to occupy. We got totally lost on the glacier approach and ended up pitching the tent on a semi-flat area on the glacier. The real site is at the base of El Mocho-the Half Dome looking (and similar sized) cliff at the foot of Cerro Torre further up the valley.
The climbing photos are of me (blue jacket) and Erik (green jacket) on the Anglo-American Route on the West Face of Aguja Rafael. The climbing was pretty fun and definitely alpine-some snow to negotiate in the rock shoes, some dripping cracks, a little bit of rotten rock, etc. We got off-route a couple times and that prevented us from having the time to top out but still awesome nonetheless.
The sunrise photo is of Erik in the approach gully for Aguja Rafael. You can see where our bivy site is at the foot of El Mocho-about 3000´down. We also got lost on the approach when our headlamps were not sufficient to illuminate the entire Torre Valley which was pitch dark with no moon. So we started climbing a bit later than we hoped, oh well.
The day before we climbed, our roommates Rob & Sam climbed an incredible route on Aguja St. Exupery called Chiaro de Luna. Hopefully we´ll get a chance to get on it since it looks like one of the finest rockclimbs in the world! They had an epic experience on it involving cutting their rope, rappelling through the night, and leaving most of their rack. I´m hoping we´ll have a better experience (gulp).
For now we have been sequestered in town by the weather. We´re occupying ourselves with hikes, going bouldering, and LOTS of cooking and eating. I´m sure we´ll have a fun Christmas with all our new friends down here.
I hope all you will have a safe and fun holiday season and we´ll keep you updated frequently.