Chilling in Chilean Patagonia, at Basecamp: Donini Bivy!

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Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Topic Author's Original Post - Mar 27, 2013 - 10:31pm PT
We are just back from two weeks of old fart adventures in Southern Chile (Patagonia) with our SLC buddies Jerry & Angie, and my old climbing & rafting friend Mark.

Most of our visit was to Jim & Angela Donini's cabin on the 2nd largest lake in South America. Our climbing legend friend Jim, was unable to visit Patagonia this year due to climbing & slide-show commitments, but his wonderful wife Angela, was our able hostess and tour-guide.

Within 50 miles of their cabin, we drove & hiked terrain with: desert, rain-forest, awesome glaciers, huge rivers (with giant trout & amazing waterfalls), and magnificent views.

Here's our best bivy view Sunset & Sunrise photos:

Sunset on Lago General Carrera and the Northern Icecap of Patagonian Chile. The peak at center right with the long ridgeline is the highest in Patagonia: San Valentin, 13,350 Ft. (our lake's altitude is nearly sea-level---718 Ft.)

Yes! Our lake elevation is roughly 2 1/2 vertical miles below those awesome summits!!

Credit: Fritz


Sunrise alpenglow on the same spots.

Credit: Fritz

Where we were!

Follow the red arrow. We flew Santiago to Coihaique (Coyhaique), then drove south to Lago General Carrera.
Credit: Fritz

After flying into a regional airport BBA and renting our truck, we drove 30 miles north on good road to Coyhaique, the region's big city (100,000 people) and shopping hub, for our first night in Chile at Donini's favorite place for lodging.

Patagonia House is a B & B, was a little difficult to find, but is very modern, clean, and has English-speaking staff, which is somewhat rare in Patagonian Chile. Best of all: was finding a new friend in the manager Ruth.

Ruth is our hero, since Delta Airlines had failed to forward luggage for my wife Heidi & me to Chile. After days of hounding Delta customer service, Ruth finally got our missing bags to Coyhaique and put them on a bus to our rural location. She also loaned Heidi hiking boots and clothing to supplement the gear we had worn on the plane and had in our carry-on luggage.

We simply can't image any other hotel manager in the world doing so much for us. Ruth also has a well-established Patagonian tour company, is a Chilean native and speaks excellent English: Her company is: Salvaje Corazon (wild at heart)! They can do trips for: Fly fishing - hiking - camping - Photo Safaris and bird watching as well as logistics. Web site is : http://salvajecorazon.com/pages/01_welcome.html

After a morning grocery shopping excursion, we managed a mid-afternoon departure from Coyhaique, and had a rainy drive south, with our full size-Toyota Diesel pickup (Hilux), on paved roads for about 60 miles, then we had 110 miles of, at times narrow & challenging, gravel roads.

Jerry was our driver of choice and did a great job of keeping the shiny side up.

We finally arrived at the Donini's cabin near dark with Angela waiting at the hard to find front gate.

Our vacation really starts after 3 days of travel to get to our destination!

We then celebrated "cheating-death" on the drive! Photo by Angela at the Donini-Bivouac-cabin. Fritz, Mark, Heidi, Jerry, & Angie.

Credit: Fritz



We did see two roll-over accidents that had happened minutes before, during our driving in Patagonia. The numerous road-side shrines prove that the gravel roads can be fatal to the fast and incautious.
Credit: Fritz

Day 4: The six of us including Angela went for a hike above their property to a stream with a very long series of waterfalls, always with a view of the lake.

Our wonderful host & friend Angela, doing a little "bouldering" at the waterfalls, with Lago General Carrera in the background.

Credit: Fritz
Fritz & Heidi at an "infinity pool" above the lake.
Credit: Fritz

There were cows upstream, so we filtered our water. Jerry & Fritz "making water = drinking water" with the Katadyn Hiker Pro. (4th day for me in the same travel-clothes. Thank God for deodorant!)
Credit: Fritz

Another 10 days of scenery & adventure to follow----and the suspense builds!




Will Fritz & Heidi ever see their checked bags again? Or are our bags doing a separate Chile vacation----running up big hotel bills and sharing our precious gear with pimps and loose women?

It just makes me wonder?
Credit: Fritz



SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Mar 27, 2013 - 11:15pm PT

Talk about Donini envy!
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Mar 27, 2013 - 11:23pm PT
Very cool trip Fritz!
Thanks for the share,
Tad
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Mar 27, 2013 - 11:33pm PT
Wheres those trout!??
Pennsylenvy

Gym climber
A dingy corner in your refrigerator
Mar 27, 2013 - 11:34pm PT
This does not suck !
mission

Social climber
boulder,co
Mar 27, 2013 - 11:44pm PT
I've been to the Donini manse a couple of times, too. Here's what I remember
Credit: mission
mission

Social climber
boulder,co
Mar 27, 2013 - 11:47pm PT
And this:
Credit: mission
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Mar 28, 2013 - 12:37am PT
Fritz, have you burned yer undies yet? Bear up, lad!
I couldn't believe all the shrines we saw on perfectly straight stretches.

Oh, and watch out for caimans.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
WA, & NC & Idaho
Mar 28, 2013 - 10:40am PT
Looks like the trip of a lifetime, Thanks for sharing!!!!!
Roots

Mountain climber
SoCal
Mar 28, 2013 - 11:18am PT
!Excellente!
Fletcher

Trad climber
The great state of advaita
Mar 28, 2013 - 11:23am PT
That was an ugly job, but somebody had to go down there and do! Thank you for volunteering! Ha ha! Looks awesome.

I remember that view out Donini's front window from a slide show of his a year or so ago. Stunning! Thanks for sharing.

Eric
matty

Trad climber
under the sea
Mar 28, 2013 - 11:43am PT
Fux yeah... I go to a cabin on a lake too...


Credit: matty


Thousands of tiny rocky islands....and only a few people..


Hey Jim...let's exchange vacations sometime! lol!
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 28, 2013 - 11:59am PT
Glad you folks are enjoying our adventures and photos! Here's some more.

Day 5: The six of us piled into two pickups (Angela has a 4-WD version of our rental Hilux) and headed south to the outlet of Lago General Carrera which passes through a couple smaller lakes and then forms the largest river in Chile: the huge, and noted for trout-fishing & whitewater thrills, Rio Baker.

We drove down stream some miles, parked and hiked into a series of scenic falls on the river, for a lunch break.

Angela took this great panorama of the falls, with the very muddy Rio Nef joining the Rio Baker at center-left.

Credit: Fritz

Although there are white-water river outfitters on the Rio Baker, none of us could imagine rafting and surviving the falls. However, Kokatat's blog site recently had a link to expert kayakers having the trip of a lifetime on the same falls and downstream canyons of the Rio Baker. Our falls are apparently called "Double-Drop," although I think they deserve a grander name. Here's a link to the story and video:
Rio Baker-The King of All Chilean Rivers!
http://kokatat.com/blog/2013/03/rio-baker-the-king-of-all-chilean-rivers

Credit: Fritz

Angela watching the water.
Angela watching the water.
Credit: Fritz

After our hike, we drove further down Rio Baker then turned up the Rio Chacabuco and headed east for more miles. We toured Doug Tompkins & Kris McDivitt Tomkins' ranch which is the base for another of their Patagonia Parks. It is a beautiful desert valley full of guanacos, with swans, and flamingos in the wet spots.

Doug & Kris have been buying up property for 20 years in Patagonia and making reserves, preserves and parks out of them, protecting them from development. Eventually, they will all be donated to the Chilean Parks System.

Guanacos & Pink Flamingos!
Credit: Fritz
Credit: Fritz


Lunch stop up the Rio Chacabuco.
Lunch stop up the Rio Chacabuco.
Credit: Fritz
After a lunch break we went back up the Rio Baker, fished without success on the river, then tried a small lake, which was full of hungry 4"-8" rainbows. We put all the baby fish back and returned to the Donini Bivy for the evening views.


Day 6: Another road trip, this time east along the south edge of the lake for about 100 km to the larger town of Chile Chico which is next to the border with Argentina. We drove south up the Rio Jeinemeni (heny-meny) for several more km to a fishing spot. Jerry & I fished with little success where Donini (El-Jim by then) had caught a huge trout, while the rest of the group explored the desert environment.

This road trip is mostly on good gravel, but it had some very scenic road sections of steep bumpy gravel road with 1000’ drops into the lake & obvious large & frequent rockfall from above. Jerry (Mario) drove the "guy-truck", while Mark and I whined at him to go slower on the one-lane blind-curves above the huge drop-offs. We won’t be going there again----soon.

The road around Lago General Carrera to Chile Chico.  Don't drive this...
The road around Lago General Carrera to Chile Chico. Don't drive this in the rain!
Credit: Fritz

Desert scenery up the Rio Jeinemeni. Of course El-Jim & Angela have climbed the steep side of the volcanic plug at center right.
Credit: Fritz

Day 7: Local hike above the nearby waterfalls.

After a slow start to the day, we decided to skip a road-trip and hike around the Donini Bivy.
Chilling on the deck at the bivy, due to un-settled weather.  Angela, ...
Chilling on the deck at the bivy, due to un-settled weather. Angela, Angie, Heidi, Fritz, & Mark.
Credit: Fritz


All our gourmet meals were at the Donini cabin and Jerry & I were under pressure from the group to produce a "trout-dinner." We caught an adequate mess of small rainbows and browns out a scenic nearby stream, that we shared with cows. It was a lot like fishing in South Idaho mountains and the fresh trout were a tasty treat.
Fritz stalking the trout.
Fritz stalking the trout.
Credit: Fritz
The cow wanted a drink, rolled its eyes at me, and plunged in.
The cow wanted a drink, rolled its eyes at me, and plunged in.
Credit: Fritz

TONIGHT! Our bags arrived on the bus! Woohoo! Clean underwear, shorts,camping gear, trekking poles, fishing gear, hiking & wading shoes and a lot more stuff we had survived without-----with a little help from our friends.

Fritz wearing spare Donini pants before the bags arrived!
Credit: Fritz


Next: The huge peaks, hanging glaciers, classic waterfalls, foaming grey-water, and jungle of the Rio Exploradores.





phylp

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
Mar 28, 2013 - 02:23pm PT
Wow, Fritz, what gorgeous photos! I really enjoyed the description of the travels, except for the scary roads part! Sounds like a perfect vacation.
Phyl
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Mar 28, 2013 - 03:47pm PT
Scary roads? Au contraire.....half the fun of being there is negotiating those roads. Hell, i've only had one accident so far- no fatalities!
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Mar 28, 2013 - 10:12pm PT

Yeah, Jim, but were you wearin' your pampers????

Ohhhhhhh, I couldn't resist. I'll buy you a drink
next time!
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Mar 28, 2013 - 10:23pm PT
Sweet,
and more to come.
thanks Fritz
Captain...or Skully

climber
Mar 28, 2013 - 11:39pm PT
Man, some folks get around, huh?
Digging it.
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 28, 2013 - 11:45pm PT
Day 8: This was the best scenery day with a road trip around the west end of Lago General Carrea , then northwest into the Rio Exploradores Valley, full of coastal rain forest, waterfalls off the ice cap all around, spectacular views of hanging glaciers, rivers running grey with glacial debris, and alluring mountains that would be tough to approach, let alone climb.

Two misty peaks in the icefield, from a lakeside view. Both are Donini 1st ascents. Note the wild roses in the foreground. Patagonian roses have mutated into a long-thorned people-ripping menace.
Credit: Fritz


Cemetery, Patagonia style.

Credit: Fritz

One of many scenic mountains during our drive down the Rio Exploradores.
Credit: Fritz

one of hundreds of waterfalls.
Credit: Fritz

Fuchsias were blooming everywhere.
Credit: Fritz

After much spectacular scenery we parked for a hike up to the terminal moraine for Mt. San Valentin's huge glacier. We did have to pay an entry fee to walk up a board-walk (that protects the soft soil of the rain-forest) to a scenic overlook. We packed our lunch up there, and enjoyed the great views, while feasting on the somewhat precarious moraine top.
San Valentine glacier terminus, with Mt. San Valentine at upper right.
San Valentine glacier terminus, with Mt. San Valentine at upper right.
Credit: Fritz

North Ridge of Mt. San Valentin the highest mountain in Patagonia at 13,500 Ft. Alas, the top was hiding in clouds.

Credit: Fritz

More waterfalls, mountains, and the very out of control, Rio Exploradores.
Credit: Fritz
Credit: Fritz
Credit: Fritz

The rain forest jungle was a little tough to travel in. Angela called a stop at a waterfall on the way back up the Rio Exploradores, and we explored the jungle up to the base of a nearby waterfall. It would be "very-interesting" to drag a heavy climbing pack up through it to the peaks.

Jerry, Angie, Heidi, & Fritz in the jungle.  Angela photo.
Jerry, Angie, Heidi, & Fritz in the jungle. Angela photo.
Credit: Fritz

Mark had a little "jungle-incident" on the way out, and covered himself with mud. It's Ok, we are friends.
Fritz & Mark cleaning off the mud.  It's OK man:  I got your back!
Fritz & Mark cleaning off the mud. It's OK man: I got your back!
Credit: Fritz


A final look up at Mt. San Valentin----almost cloud-free, with the churning mass of the river born from its glaciers in the foreground.

Credit: Fritz

Oh! A future project for El-Jim. A roadside photo of a little pinnacle alongside the Rio Exploradores.
Credit: Fritz


Much more to follow--- Our exciting climb to the summit of Mt. Fossil Ridge, the Marble Caves of Lago General Carrera, the race back to Coyhaique, and Santiago urban adventures!

Stay tuned!






Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Mar 29, 2013 - 01:40am PT
Fritz, it's terrific and everything, but it just isn't the same without J-Do!
Ihateplastic

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Mar 29, 2013 - 02:06am PT
I did not know this guy traveled out of the Pacific Northwest!

Credit: Ihateplastic
Captain...or Skully

climber
Mar 29, 2013 - 09:13am PT
That's seriously funny, Simon. ;-)
Ol' Squatch gets around too, eh?
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 29, 2013 - 08:59pm PT
On with the adventure!

I do agree with Peter, re his comment:
Fritz, it's terrific and everything, but it just isn't the same without J-Do!


We knew Jim had good reasons not to go to Patagonia this year. It was a wonderful adventure and we are all grateful to Angela for being willing to host & guide us.

Besides: Donini makes us climb ----and suffer, most every time we get together.



What's up with that??



Day 9: We had a long & pretty drive on a one lane road, up from Lago General Carrera), to the unmarked trail head for "our mountain."
Mt. Fossil Ridge is about a 8 mile round trip hike with a 2,000 Ft. gain & loss.

During the upper part of the hike and at the summit, we were above timberline & enjoyed spectacular views all round including the lake, Mt. San Valentin 13,350 Ft., and remote Mt. San Lorenzo 12,200 Ft. (the second highest peak in Patagonia).

Mt. San Valentin at center-left and Lago General Carrera from high on ...
Mt. San Valentin at center-left and Lago General Carrera from high on Mt. Fossil Ridge.
Credit: Fritz

Angela, Mark, Angie, & Jerry at the summit with Mt. San Valentin at upper left.
Credit: Fritz

Mt. San Lorenzo far to the south. It is a remote peak and a difficult & dangerous climb. El Jim mentioned the AAC was sponsoring an American group that was going to climb a new route on its east side (left side of photo).
Credit: Fritz

The hike down, with our remote summit in the background. Ray, Angela, ...
The hike down, with our remote summit in the background. Ray, Angela, Jerry, & Angie.
Credit: Fritz

We drove through a meadow full of (somewhat shy) Ashy Headed Geese on the way off the mountain.
Credit: Fritz

On the way up the road to our Bivy at Donini Base-Camp-----a "quick-brown" Patagonian Fox jumped over our route.
Credit: Fritz

Then we were back at Donini basecamp!
Heidi, with Jim Donini's ice axe, and Mark setting up the ice block for a hard strike. After a tough day, Heidi was fresh out of the shower and "needed" ice.

Credit: Fritz

We were using Gin & Tonics to fight off the Malaise affecting us. It appears "The Malaise" was brought on by our Yankee minds trying to comprehend water-draining counter-clockwise, and the reverse crescent of the new-moon.

Gin & Tonic appeared to be the solution!

This was the night of our best sunset action. View is to the west towards the Northern Icecap of Chile and its astounding mountains.
Credit: Fritz

Of course we told stories that evening. (it was Friday night!)
We do have a few climbing, rafting, & adventure stories between us.
Mark & Fritz.
Mark & Fritz.
Credit: Fritz


More Chilean adventure to follow!
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 30, 2013 - 08:29pm PT
Day 10: Rest day. Explored the adjacent stony beach and jagged shoreline below the Donini cabin at the lake, with Fritz and Jerry fishing. I know we have more photos, but I do like these of me bouldering & fly-fishing. Fishing sucked. It has been a very hot & dry summer in Patagonia, and the supposedly abundant & willing large trout were absent.

Credit: Fritz
Credit: Fritz
We enjoyed our last sunset over the lake.
Credit: Fritz

Day 11: We all once again thanked Angela for being "the hostess with the mostest" and headed back north to Coyhaique, with a stop for a boat trip to the "must see" marble caves along the northern lake shore ("a two-hour tour"). Angela gave us directions to find a steep road down to the lake shore, and the friendly resident boatman & guide, who gave all of us a great tour for $80.00 total.

Credit: Fritz

Credit: Fritz
Credit: Fritz
Credit: Fritz

We had better weather driving back to Coyhaique, than when driving down, and we saw much more scenery, since the peaks were not covered in rain-clouds. The regional park at Cerro Castillo features truly impressive basalt spires & the Rio Ibanez does not look like a pleasant spot for a swim.


Credit: Fritz
Credit: Fritz
Credit: Fritz

A few thousand curves later, and we back in Coyhaique at Patagonia House.
phylp

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
Mar 30, 2013 - 08:34pm PT
Wow, those marble caves are gorgeous! I mean, it's all gorgeous but those are so interesting.
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 30, 2013 - 10:39pm PT
phylp! Thanks for your positive comments. Anyone else enjoying the photos & story?
Captain...or Skully

climber
Mar 30, 2013 - 10:41pm PT
Keep going, dammit! Yer on a roll. ;-)

John M

climber
Mar 30, 2013 - 10:47pm PT
Loving it.. Thanks Fritz.

More please! What a beautiful place!
drljefe

climber
El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Mar 31, 2013 - 01:23am PT
lovin' those marble caves...
and the whole lot, really.
thanks fritz
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Mar 31, 2013 - 04:08am PT
Excellent TR. It's a Patagonian world of wonder.
jopay

climber
so.il
Mar 31, 2013 - 07:33am PT
Jim Donini, I like your style.
David Wilson

climber
CA
Mar 31, 2013 - 10:34am PT
Place looks amazing
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
Mar 31, 2013 - 11:02am PT
Chile. It,s the other Idaho.
phylp

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
Mar 31, 2013 - 12:36pm PT
Fritz, I'm sure there are lot of folks enjoying the photos and story but it's always the same thing with TRs: people feel shy about being repetitive or saying a simple TFPU so they stay silent. I've wanted a supertopo only like button (not a link to facebook like button that already exists) for ages.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Mar 31, 2013 - 12:40pm PT
No fish?? TFPU!
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 31, 2013 - 01:09pm PT
Much thanks to those that take time to encourage my posting with comments (or stories & photos).

We arrived in Coyhaique late afternoon and enjoyed a memorable dinner & great rooms, plus Ruth’s hospitality, at Patagonia House.

Credit: Fritz

We did enjoy a quick visit to "down-town" Coyhaique & its shopping area late afternoon.

There are two large super-mercados, and many other smaller stores, including some outdoor shops-------and some "interesting" clothing stores.
Credit: Fritz

Coyhaique from Patagonia House.
Coyhaique from Patagonia House.
Credit: Fritz

Next day, after a morning at leisure, we drove south to the airport at Balmaceda, then flew Lan Airways direct to Chile's capital, Santiago. Ruth had arranged for a driver with a van to take us to our hotel in the very modern Providencia district of Santiago.

We met for a little celebration that evening on our hotel's rooftop and then had dinner at Ruth's recommend for a restaurant, which of course was excellent.
Overlooking Santiago's Providencia District.
Overlooking Santiago's Providencia District.
Credit: Fritz
Restaurant Menus were in Chilean Spanish and the waiter did not speak English. Most of us got what we thought we were ordering, but Jerry's steak came in a bowl of broth----no problems, it was all good.
Credit: Fritz

The next day was an "explore the big city day." We walked west about 4 miles from our hotel to the Central Square, the 16th century Plaza De Armas, which is surrounded by historic buildings. We had planned on a tour of the Pre-Columbian art museum, which was closed for renovation, then we checked out the local open air markets which sell produce & other cheap goods.

It was a slightly-hot late-summer day, but a series of very-nice parks along the Rio Mapocho gave us some shade. The walk was great and we saw a good section of this great modern city.
Heidi trying to keep up with Jerry & Angie in one of the downtown rive...
Heidi trying to keep up with Jerry & Angie in one of the downtown river-side parks.
Credit: Fritz

Inside Santa Lucia, a beautiful park on a small hill near the city center.
Credit: Fritz


The 18th century cathedral on Plaza De Armas.
Credit: Fritz

An intellectual cat at a street market.
Credit: Fritz

Hot Dog with grafetti.
Hot Dog with grafetti.
Credit: Fritz


We slept in the next morning since our 10 hour flight to Atlanta would take off at 10:10 PM. Late morning we took a hotel van east about 4 miles to Los Dominicos and visited the Artisan village. It is located at an old farm village and has about 150 shops with a variety of leather goods, woven alpaca goods, food, pottery, antiques, wood sculpture, gems, rocks, and minerals, & has exhibits with caged birds, un-caged birds, and old farm village items------and cats to eat the rats.


Yin & Yang cats in an antique bucket.
Yin & Yang.
Yin & Yang.
Credit: Fritz

Some of the Artisan Mall. Cool and pleasant on a hot summer day.
Credit: Fritz


To sum up our trip: we all had a great time in Chile. Santiago is expensive, we are glad we went there, but we likely won't spend time there if we go back. The areas around Coyhaique all look great for future visits, and we certainly appreciate why the Doninis have a cabin on Lago General Carrera.

The best advice I can give anyone going to Chile is: work on your Spanish language skills. Heidi & I did refresher work on our limited Spanish before our trip, which certainly helped, but we still had a tough time understanding the locals.

Chilean Spanish has changed significantly from Spanish Spanish and is spoken very rapidly. You can assume any taxi driver, store clerk, gas station attendant, or policeman will not speak English. Not all hotel & restaurant staff speak English, even in larger cities.

A Big note! South of Coyhaique on our visit: ALL payment was in Chilean Pesos. Do not expect to find any business that takes credit cards or American dollars! In larger cities credit cards are commonly accepted, but not U.S. dollars.

Have fun if you go! It is a wonderful country and the people are very friendly.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Mar 31, 2013 - 02:48pm PT
Herr Fritzi, awesome TR! I find Argentine Spanish tougher than Chilean. Ironically,
the easiest person I spoke with in Argentina was a cabbie in Ushuaia. That
in itself would be strange enough but it was even stranger in that this
particular cabbie was one of those cute little Bowler hat-wearing Indian women
from way up north! Even more hilarious was that she was undoubtedly the
best cab driver we experienced in the whole country! And I don't just mean
that she drove the most sanely and considerately. She also was, by far, the
most cognizant of how to properly drive a stick shift! I think her name was
'Suave'. ;-)

Also of note is that in Argentina businesses will often give you a discount
if you pay in dollars rather than pesos. We stayed at a B&B in Iguazua that
only accepted dollars. I didn't blame him given their 30% inflation rate.
drljefe

climber
El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Mar 31, 2013 - 02:59pm PT
looks like the same place, eh fritz?

Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 31, 2013 - 05:25pm PT
drljefe! Thanks for posting the video link.

Yep! The video was shot at the marble-caves we visited (Las Cavernas de Marmol).

Climbing there did not occur to me, but some locals were doing moderate cliff-diving.

Credit: Fritz

Reilly: I think I did better with my Spanglish with the Argentines than with the Chileans. However, by the last day of our trip, I was able to understand our hotel van driver when he asked my if we would need a van to the airport that evening, and not confuse him with my reply that a friend of a friend (the Ruth connection) was going to take us.

I talked with an ex-LDS missionary last week, who told me he needed 3 months of practice in Chile, before he could fully comprehend Chilean-Spanish.
Captain...or Skully

climber
Mar 31, 2013 - 06:35pm PT
Ex-LDS? Postcultist?
There IS hope.
BTW, If you climb on Marble, Yer gonna die fer sure. Slick choss, that.
Groovin', RRR.
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 1, 2013 - 10:29am PT
Working class Chile bump, for those that read ST at the breakfast table, or at work.

Road trip lunch stop.
Road trip lunch stop.
Credit: Fritz

First Light on Mt. San Valentin, 13,350' from Lago General Carrera at 718'.
Credit: Fritz

Heidi making friends at La Tienda.
Credit: Fritz
steveA

Trad climber
bedford,massachusetts
Apr 1, 2013 - 11:02am PT
Thanks for the fine T.R.

My daughter is somewhere down there right now, heading North from El Chalten.

BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 1, 2013 - 12:05pm PT
It looks like Heaven. I'm curious as to other places along the Chilean coast, given my ocean plans, which are basically to take off in my new boat.

The southern archipelago looks pretty wild from Google Earth. Donini's place is also incredible. How big is that lake? I think that it straddle's the border, correcto?
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Apr 1, 2013 - 12:12pm PT
The lake is 95 miles long, 2 to 15 miles wide and encompasses 588 sq. miles. It is one of the deeper lakes in the World at 2,500 ft....interesting since the surface is only 680 ft. above sea level. It extends into the Patagonian Desert in Argentina where it reaches it's greatest width. There is just enough glacial silt to give it that beautiful aquamarine color. Researchers from Stanford tested the water and were amazed at how pure it was.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Apr 1, 2013 - 12:18pm PT
Yeah, Lago General Carrera / Lago Buenos Aires is shared by Chile and Argentina. It’s 1850 km2, thus the largest lake in Chile and the fourth in Argentina.

Baser, is that boat actually big enough?
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Apr 1, 2013 - 12:28pm PT
Combining the area in Chile and Argentina makes it the second largest lake in South America behind Titicaca.
In my mind it's the largest, a lake is defined as a body of water. The volume of water in Carrera, given it's great depth, exceeds that of Titicaca.
Give that definition the largest lake in the world is Lake Baikal.
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 1, 2013 - 08:29pm PT
I took a photo of a somewhat fantastic structure on a hill above Chile Chico, but I have no idea what inspired it, or what purpose, if any, it serves.

Is anyone in the know?

Credit: Fritz
Amy Ness

climber
ND
Apr 1, 2013 - 08:37pm PT
Awesome! Myles and I just got back yesterday...it's a beautiful place.
Just FYI, we crossed the border to renew our visas and had to hitch back so I asked the driver about all the shrines- apparently some of them are for people who died on the road, but most are for saints and people leave them gifts...all the little houses. Anyway, just thought it was kind of cool. Glad you had a good trip!
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 2, 2013 - 11:02pm PT
Amy: Thanks for joining in!

RE your mention that the roadside shrines can be for saints, that are being remembered along the road.

When we drove south of Chile Chico, Angela mentioned that a roadside shrine, with a stack of empty bottles, was for a saintly woman that died of thirst in the arid lands nearby.

We then noted two more roadside shrines with stacks of empty bottles to the west of Chile Chico.



Lots of empty bottles and not enough saints?
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Apr 3, 2013 - 12:38am PT
Yes, all the ones I saw were packed with empty booze bottles. Apparently
God hates a sober person in S America. More sobering is the thought of
those 'mourners/worshipers' getting back on the road.

Credit: Reilly
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