Rotator Placeholder Image
  • 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
  • banner31
    Afternoon at 17k on Cerro Ramada - Cordillera Ramada, Argentina
  • banner22
    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
  • banner30
    Post nap surprise on Cerro Ramada - Cordiller Ramada, Argentina
  • Summit on Cerro Lliani - Cordillera Vilcanota, Peru
  • banner23
    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
  • banner24
    The best of times at Willow Lake - Sangre de Christo Range, Colorado
  • banner29
    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
  • banner25
    Long ridge walk to the summit of California Peak - Sangre de Christo Range, Colorado
  • banner28
    Crossing el Rio Colorado . . . in the afternoon - Cordillera Ramada, Argentina
  • banner37
    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
  • banner26
    Deteriorating conditions on Mt. Arkansas - Ten Mile Range, Colorado
  • banner27
    After the climb - Cordillera Ramada, Argentina
  • banner38
    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

Rest Day at La Vitrola Camp . . . January 15, 2010


Every trip to South America is the same . . . we score a weather window and want to climb . . . but we long ago learned that you simply have to bide your time at altitude to acclimatize or you will pay the price. We awoke to a beautiful blue sky day at La Vitrola Camp and there was that summit, just a few thousand feet higher than us, or so it seemed. But we knew the rule and today was going to be a rest day for the body to build a few new red blood cells before we pushed to the next higher camp on the following morning.

We took in the sun, drank mate and hydrated and pee'd it all back out. I wandered about the vicinity and from a geologic perspective, this is the place you do not want to be if there is an earthquake. The ground in and all around our camp was cut by cracks, leaving me with little doubt that the forces of nature had taken a serious dump on this piece of ground. Above the camp there are cliffs composed of deteriorated rock and below our camp is a valley full of mounds of soil that have sloughed from the edges of terrace we are camped upon. My geologic days are long gone but we were sitting on a swath of ground that has been weathered and/or oxidized and robbed of whatever stability it once had.

As the day passed so did the sun as bank of clouds appeared on the far side of La Mesa and swept across the summit of Mercedario, obscuring its 22,000 foot heights in a wall of white. Anibal had told us that clouds to the east were nothing to worry about but when they come in from the west, then that is a sure sign of bad weather to come. He noted that the bad weather usually will last a day or so but if the weather comes from the west be ready for rain or snow, depending upon your altitude. The weather we were watching was coming in from the west . . .

Our sunny day was soon gone, the warm temperature was gone and the gray wall soon obscured the summit of La Mesa and then La Ramada above us. Then it was not only the summit that was lost to cloud as the white started pushing down toward our elevation . . . Soon we got a flake or two of snow, then more snow and before long we abandoned the outside to take refuge in the Mid. The Mid offered a warm stove, hot mate and the promise of more room than the sleeping tents ever could. We put up with the snow, tapping the walls of the Mid on a regular basis to knock the fluffy white stuff to the ground so there was room to sit without the tent draping across one's back. We got through dinner and another hour to two of conversation before calling it a night and scampering off to the smaller tents.

I think we were all curious as to how much snow we would get and what effect it would have on our plan to climb the next morning at least to the Torres Rosadas camp, 1800 feet higher on the mountain . . . We would just ahve to wait and see.



next page