Tuesday, 7 January 2014
Repeating Wasabi, V12, near El Chalten (video still: Calum Muskett)
We have now been in Patagonia for 4 days, and our expectations for getting some free climbing done in the mountains soon are coming down to reality. We’ve met lots of familiar faces around El Chalten, and many new ones. Everyone wants to be up high doing long rock routes, but everyone is waiting for the wind, snow and rain to stop. At least two climbers who’ve spent a few seasons here have informed us that there is no chance of our primary objective on Cerro Torre coming into condition. So we have some plan Bs, Cs and Ds.
Most of those still require it not to be snowing and blowing a hoolie on the granite towers. So for now it’s time to crack on with the excellent bouldering. Straight away I’d got stuck into trying Wasabi on the superb boulders near El Chalten. It gets Font 8b although I think it’s a bit easier than that. Today it dawned rainy but cold. I worked on my book until lunchtime and then wandered up for another session on it. My first try saw me right up at the lip of the boulder but scared to carry on in a pumped state with no mats. Thankfully David Lama turned up with a mat and I got it done next try. I have a little video of this, but the internet connection is far to slow to bring it to you.
I’m told there is a hotel in town with something resembling a real connection. Given the forecast, it shouldn’t be too long before it’s time to go for a cup of tea there, so I’ll send it then. Tomorrow’s forecast is stormy, then stormy again the next day, and the next. Patagonia: hardcore bouldering destination and writer’s retreat! If I could run, I'd be doing plenty of that too.
I had a great time today at the boulders and certainly looking forward to getting stuck into more hard problems while we wait.