Wednesday, February 6, 2019

New Line on Fitzroy in Patagonia (Pou Bros) + Mingma Gyahu Sherpa - Piolets d" Or Asia + Cholitas Ponder Everest Attempt

New line on Fitzroy in Patagonia for the Pou Brothers (English translation) - Barrabes + Montagna
Mountaineer Mingma Gyahu Sherpa feted with Piolets d" Or Asia - from
Bolivian Cholitas women ponder Everest attempt - from Gripped Magazine -- New Line in Patagonia on Fitz Roy for the Pou Brothers (English translation available)   (English translation available)  -- Mountaineer Mingma Gyahu Sherpa feted with Piolets d' Or Asia

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Vitaliy M. is with Nikita Balabanov and 3 others.

Sorry for not replying to messages and emails, last 10 days at summercamp 2019 were fairly busy. Had an attempt at cerro torre, brutal storm beat down there, long day (16 hours?) to hike out and following day a hike back in to paso Superior, which gains something like over 5,000 feet. The best weather of the season was predicted so it was no time to rest. Although my original partner/friend had frostbite on Cerro Torre and needs to recover, I was able to hook up with two other parties and climbed the Red Pillar of Mermoz which to my surprise I was able to lead/follow clean, including the lead of the hardest crux pitch (7a+) which was at the time running with water. Even though we did all 3 of the hardest pitches and supposedly all the best ones, we had to quit after 11 of 15 pitches because rest were running with water. It was a good thing as finishing would take much longer and I have been to the top of Mermoz in the past anyways. I was back to camp at 21:30pm and Ted, my partner for the following day's attempt at Fitz Roy, wanted to wake up in about 5 hours, at 02:30, so to his surprise after 3 harsh days, I was still all in and he was nice enough to help me melt water. Even though we have not climbed together in the past, Ted Hesser and I started up Fitz Roy's California route as planned. 
Earlier in the year I watched the documentary about its first ascent and the film raised my interest in trying that particular climb. To our luck, the route was in great conditions. Good ice and dry rock. Because both of us love photography, we planned to sleep on the SW flank of Fitz Roy around the top of the route to get some cool photos of Cerro Torre at sunrise. The dream came true, it was a beautiful sunrise, due to which we did not start climbing till like 10am, taking in the beauty and a nice breakfast. When we did get back to climbing, we realized the wind picked up, which brought us to reality of being on a huge mountain and still needing to find our way to the top and deal with a dangerous descent. Fortunately, it all came together and we got down in time to witness another beautiful sunset and sunrise sleeping at La Brecha. Do have to mention a falling rock size of a mini bus scared the living shit out of me as we absailed down the peak. Fortunately the walls are so steep that it was falling away from us, although during the split second of the event all you really can think of is which one of the many shells gonna blow your head off. Because I have been going hard every day for the last week, these next several days will be for hibernation. Time to rest and digest. I left to the mountains 10 days ago with Chris Koppl at 172 lbs, yesterday after hiking out, I was 158lbs. How about this mountain climbing diet eh? 
Another interesting thing about the day we climbed Fitz Roy...that same day another two Ukrainean guys and a Russian lady topped out via the same route. What the hell is the probability of three Ukraineans on Fitz Roy in the same day?! lol They were also nice enough to hook us up with some food so that we could bivy in La Brecha and enjoy the beautiful views at sunrise, instead of rapelling below other people at night and hiking to camp, which was very nice of them


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Playing the waiting game here in town a few more days. Not festering too much but maybe a little. Going back and forth on weather and route conditions. A classic Chalten experience. Practicing the dark arts of predicting the future. Trying to make the right decision ahead of time. Safety and success depends on good judgement. Tricky tricky.


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