Chilling in Chilean Patagonia, at Basecamp: Donini Bivy!

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Messages 21 - 40 of total 50 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Ihateplastic

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Mar 28, 2013 - 11:06pm PT
I did not know this guy traveled out of the Pacific Northwest!

Credit: Ihateplastic
Captain...or Skully

climber
Mar 29, 2013 - 06:13am 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 - 05:59pm 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 - 05:29pm 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 - 05:34pm 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 - 07:39pm PT
phylp! Thanks for your positive comments. Anyone else enjoying the photos & story?
Captain...or Skully

climber
Mar 30, 2013 - 07:41pm PT
Keep going, dammit! Yer on a roll. ;-)

John M

climber
Mar 30, 2013 - 07:47pm PT
Loving it.. Thanks Fritz.

More please! What a beautiful place!
drljefe

climber
El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Mar 30, 2013 - 10:23pm PT
lovin' those marble caves...
and the whole lot, really.
thanks fritz
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Mar 31, 2013 - 01:08am PT
Excellent TR. It's a Patagonian world of wonder.
jopay

climber
so.il
Mar 31, 2013 - 04:33am PT
Jim Donini, I like your style.
David Wilson

climber
CA
Mar 31, 2013 - 07:34am PT
Place looks amazing
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
Mar 31, 2013 - 08:02am PT
Chile. It,s the other Idaho.
phylp

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
Mar 31, 2013 - 09:36am 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 - 09:40am PT
No fish?? TFPU!
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 31, 2013 - 10:09am 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 - 11:48am 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 - 11:59am PT
looks like the same place, eh fritz?

Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 31, 2013 - 02:25pm 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 - 03:35pm PT
Ex-LDS? Postcultist?
There IS hope.
BTW, If you climb on Marble, Yer gonna die fer sure. Slick choss, that.
Groovin', RRR.
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