Argentine Patagonia, Various Activity. As we had the preceding season, we arrived at Chaltén at the beginning of October with a head full of ideas. But “el tiempo” did not give us the same luck. Nevertheless, we had a very good time in this beautiful range.
From November 7 to 19, we climbed the Volcan Lautaro (3380m) in the middle of the Ice cap, which we reached in five days via Paso Marconi. We skied up two-thirds of the way to a cirque between the south and southeast ridges, then continued via an easy walk with crampons to the south summit. From there, it was a short walk down and across the crater to reach the top among incredible rime formations. We were super surprised to discover the volcano to be active—islands of hot rock and gas in an arctic ambiance! We then had a very good ski down.
On December 5, we attempted Cerro Pier Giorgio in alpine style via the Greenpeace route. We twice reached a point a third of the way up the face on the best granite we have ever seen. After a really hanging bivy (due to strong wind), we changed our minds about continuing. N.B.: After the first pitch, do not follow the old fixed rope. It leads too far to the right—the wrong direction.
On December 12, we climbed the east face of Val Biois via the Gabarrou-Marsigny-Vimal goullote, an unbelievable ice line, finding wet snow and wet ice conditions.
We also climbed Fitz Roy via the classic Franco-Argentine route during a limited goodweather window on December 8. We reached the summit around 6 p.m. and rappeled in a storm. It was a high experience for us. We were forced to make a light bivy at the base of the route because of storm. Hasta luego, Patagonia!
Laurence Monnoyeur and Bruno Sourzac, France