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  • Mt. Bierstadt Group Summit - Front Range, Colorado
  • A rest before the summit push on Dallas Peak - San Juan Range, Colorado
  • Broken Ankle + 6 Miles = Tired
  • The classic San Juan approach - San Juan Range, Colorado
  • Overlooking Noname Basin from Twin Thumbs Pass - San Juan Range, Colorado
  • Upper Noname Basin - San Juan Range, Colorado
  • Nearing Noname Cabin - San Juan Range, Colorado
  • Twin Thumbs Twins - San Juan Range, Colorado
  • Nearing the summit of Pt. 13,736 - Sawatch Range, Colorado
  • Blustery day on Iowa Peak - Sawatch Range, Colorado
  • Morning snow at 15k, Cerro Ramada - Cordillera Ramada
  • Artesonraju from the summit of Nevado Pisco - Cordillera Blanca, Peru
  • February crowds on Gray's Peak - Front Range, Colorado
  • Kicking steps on Cerro Lliani - Cordillera Vilcanota, Peru
  • Final traverse to the summit of Wheeler Mountain - Ten Mile Range, Colorado
  • The long walk to Pachanta - Cordillera Vilcanota, Peru
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    Afternoon at 17k on Cerro Ramada - Cordillera Ramada, Argentina
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    The final ridge on Iowa Peak - Sawatch Range, Colorado
  • Summer summit on Longs Peak - Front Range, Colorado
  • A rest day at the Pachanta Hot Springs - Cordillera Vilcanota, Peru
  • Mind over matter on Mt. Parnassas - Front Range, Colorado
  • Rest stop on Cerro Lliani - Cordillera Vilcanota, Peru
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    Post nap surprise on Cerro Ramada - Cordiller Ramada, Argentina
  • Summit on Cerro Lliani - Cordillera Vilcanota, Peru
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    Ridge walking on Grizzly Peak - Sawatch Range, Colorado
  • Enroute the summit via the West Ridge on Pacific Peak - Ten Mile Range, Colorado
  • Mule train bound for Chilca - Cordillera Vilcanota, Peru
  • Taking in the view from Fletcher Peak - Ten Mile Range, Colorado
  • Hiking on Silverheels - Mosquito Range, Colorado
  • Traversing! Gladstone Peak - San Juan Range, Colorado
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    The best of times at Willow Lake - Sangre de Christo Range, Colorado
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    High Altitude Cerebral Edema? - Cordillera Ramada, Argentina
  • Bound for Chilca - Vilcanota Range, Peru
  • Going alpine light, Holy Cross Ridge - Sawatch Range, Colorado
  • Cumbre! Campa I - Cordillera Vilcanota, Peru
  • Roadside lunch with the best of company - Cordillera Vilcanota, Peru
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    Long ridge walk to the summit of California Peak - Sangre de Christo Range, Colorado
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    Crossing el Rio Colorado . . . in the afternoon - Cordillera Ramada, Argentina
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    Dealing with Fall snows high on Casco Peak - Sawatch Range, Colorado
  • Moonrise over Mercedario - Cordillera Ramada, Argentina
  • Still climbing at 20,900 on Cerro Ramada - Cordiller Ramada, Argentina
  • Talus on Halo Ridge, Mt. of the Holy Cross - Sawatch Range, Colorado
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    Deteriorating conditions on Mt. Arkansas - Ten Mile Range, Colorado
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    After the climb - Cordillera Ramada, Argentina
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    Taking in the view from the summit of Crystal Peak - Tenmile Range, Colorado
  • Topping out on Mt. Arkansas' North Couloir - Mosquito Range, Colorado
  • Glissade on Mt. Arkansas - Mosquito Range, Colorado
  • Hard snow morning on Teakettle Mountain - San Juan Range, Colorado
  • Spring snow announces the start of the climb on Dallas Peak - San Juan Range, Colorado
  • Crossing the Eolus Catwalk - San Juan Range, Colorado

Argentina 2010

Barreal & Return to Mendoza. . . January 22, 2010


I think everyone got a good night's sleep and I know that the hot shower was very welcome after our time in the Valle. The Posada offered a light breakfast, Argentine style, which could not meet the caloric intake needs of either G and Bob, both young guys not yet familiar with the lesser appetite that comes when AARP applications begin to fill the mailbox.

We were up and soon had breakfast on the patio, sharing our table with a hound whose turf seemed to be under our feet. We planned to meet with Celeste and Manuel at 10 a.m. and then wander about Barreal for an hour or so before Fernando's driver was to meet us at 1 p.m. After breakfast we left the Posada and had not walked five minutes before coming across Fernando, Celeste and Manuel as they covered a few errands in the morning. We agreed to meet back at the Posada in a half hour for some mate and then a short trip down to the town center for G to scope out the handcraft scene and get some lunch before heading to Mendoza.

Manuel and Celeste were soon back at the Posada and we enjoyed a few rounds of mate and talked of other climbs, other destinations, plans for the future, and life in general. Celeste was to meet Anibal that afternoon so Manuel suggested we take the Celeste-mobile down to the town center and kill some time before we left for Mendoza. We paid the bill for the overnight, gathered our bags into a central pile for later and headed out the gate on foot to catch up with Celeste at a nearby hostel where she was sorting and storing gear.

Our first stop was the river that runs by Barreal, draining the Ramada range and untold other cordilleras. We could see out to the Ansilta Range, the Ramada Range, Aconcagua, all a part of the mountain front that forms the central spine of the Andes and divides Argentina from Chile. The river was running fast and red, no doubt the result of the spate of warm sunny days and the final vestiges of the two days of snow we experienced a week before. From the river we went back to Barreal proper and G looked for local goods to bring back for his staff and then we all agreed that lunch was in order. We wandered about Barreal, which is a laid back frontier type town. It has a main street, some side streets and a population that clearly seeks and enjoys a more sedate lifestyle. Manuel noted a substantial expatriate population and that Barreal has few aspects of the fast pace of the city. It's an off the beaten path country town.

The next point of interest suited G and Bob very well . . . lunch. Manuel had a place in mind, a gas station with a take away style restaurant that served a great lomo. For those unfamiliar with lomo, this is a seriously hefty sandwich with a slab of beef, lettuce, tomato, mayo, ham and often an egg in a voluminous eight inch hoagie sandwich roll. Add some chips and you will not be ready for dinner until the average Argentine is hungry. Post lunch, we went back to the Posada, bid Manuel goodbye and thanked him again for helping to make this such a great trip. Soon Fernando's driver, Carlos arrived with the van and we were loading gear for the trip to Mendoza. We left Barreal to repeat the route that brought us to this beautiful and remote part of Argentina and, at least for the first part of the ride, G managed to get Carlos to play ABBA on his MP3 player between tracks of Metallica. Those tunes, a remote dirt road, mountains, desert, and not a care in the world made for a good drive back to Mendoza.

We arrived back in Mendoza at 6 p.m. and again stayed at the Cordon del Plata. We could not get the triple we had on our first night but instead got another room on the top floor. Did you ever hear that old wives' tale that heat rises? How about the corollary to Newton's third law that says for every hot hotel room on the uppermost floor of a hotel in a town where the afternoon temperature is 100 degrees F there will be an equal but opposite undersized air conditioner that will try, without success, to cool that room. I'll admit to sounding like an ugly North American as Mendoza is hot in the summer and of course we knew that before coming down and we are from Wyoming where the summer high rarely gets to 90 more than a few times in the summer. Ye of colder climates, bear in mind that Mendoza gets hot.

We made a reservation for the same restaurant that we went to our first night and by 9:30 were seated and looking forward to another great meal . . . and we were not disappointed by any means. The beer was cold, the wine was very good (yes, I know that to readers of culture, I've just admitted to being a total uncultured clod) and every course was just as good as the last time we were there. We ate Argentine style, sitting back to leisurely enjoy every part of the experience, finishing up a bit after 12:30. We wandered on back to the hotel and called it a night. We did not have a plan for the following day but we figured to worry about that when the time came.


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