Trip Report
Patagonian Alpine FAs! TR and Video!
Sunday February 27, 2011 8:10am
Credit: Hoots
It has been a month now since Josh and I have returned from our Turbio Expedition, and in the mean time, I have spent all my free time figuring out iMovie and editing the hours of video and thousands of photos which we took.
Here is the result:
Yes, it is long, clocking in at 28 minutes even, but I think it's worth the wait. So grab your favorite wobbly-pop, kick your feet up and enjoy!

Credit: Hoots

Leeches, carniverous bees, hacking through thick bamboo jungle on the approach: these are not the things that come to mind when you talk about Patagonia. But the amount of mystery and secrecy I found surrounding the many hidden granite walls of the Turbio IV, or Valle Oscuro piqued my interest, and in late January 2011 I found myself back in Bariloche, Argentina with my partner Josh Garrison, preparing to go in virtually onsight with the exception of a decade old hand-drawn map.

Credit: Hoots

Credit: Hoots

After waiting several days for the river to go down from recent flooding, we began a difficult 60km horseride to transport us and our gear to the junction of the Turbio tributaries. From here we made our first trip into the Mariposa Valley. The trailfinding was the hardest either of has ever encountered, through dense forests of cane colihue jungle and over sketchy tyrolean crossings, but after a mid-approach bivy while hopelessly lost, we reached the open alpine meadow of the Mariposa which became our basecamp for the following 14 days. During this time we experienced lots of heavy rain, but in between managed to climb the second ascent of the Brazilian route “El Palito” (5.10+ 550m) on La Oreja, and simul-soled a Royal Arches type feature we named the Earlobe to the east of La Oreja (5.6 900m). We attempted new routes on a feature we named El Diente (5 new pitches, 200m), as well as on the Northeast Piller of La Oreja (9 pitches 400m), but were thwarted on both by closed out and vegetated cracks. While we found the rumor of “10 Half Domes” to be true, most of the walls are capped by large glaciars which sweep the faces more often than one would hope for.

Credit: Hoots
Mariposa Massif

Credit: Hoots
Josh find clean fingerlocks on El Diente

Credit: Hoots
La Oreja

Credit: Hoots

Credit: Hoots

Credit: Hoots
Summit of Earlobe, looking down into Piritas valley

After a final resupply at the Turbio junction, we moved our camp over into the lesser known Piritas Valley. Piritas Right has seen some action from two different teams in the last several years, and for good reason: it has the cleanest and most spectalular granite in either of the valleys. Again experiencing days on end of heavy rain, confining us to the tarp-shanty we constructed, we grew anxious and began slimming down our rations in hopes for a weather window before our food ran out.

Credit: Hoots

Credit: Hoots

Credit: Hoots

At last, with 4 days left, our window arrived. Leaving camp under a cold and clear sky, we made it to the bottom of the approach slabs by day break. The approach to the main wall is long and involved, kind of like the Death Slabs with pitches up to 5.10. By late morning we reached the bottom of our intended route in the center of the face and began climbing pitch after pitch of rope-stretching clean laser-cut cracks, with some heady slab climbing and traversing connecting the near plumb feature. We topped out at dusk, to a brilliant orange sunset sweeping from the distant Pacific Ocean (only 30 miles away!) to the snowy flanks of Monte Tronodor to the north, before settling in for a very cold full moon lit open bivy on top. In the morning we decended for 7 hours down the shoulder and slabs, for a camp to camp time of 33 hours, having established Under a Southern Star (V 5.11 460m)

Credit: Hoots
Line of Under a Southern Star

Credit: Hoots

Credit: Hoots
Ryan follows thin cracks low on the route

Credit: Hoots
Josh, about to get cold.

last food for a long time
last food for a long time
Credit: Hoots

Atfer making one last heavy carry down the Turbio IV to our low camp, we loaded all of our gear into 2 lightweight packrafts and decended the Rio Turbio back to Lago Puelo in a long, relaxing day, finally able to let the river do its share of the work after 34 days in the Alpine.

Credit: Hoots
Arrrrgh, the PIRATES always SEND!

Credit: Hoots

This has by fay been one of the most rewarding and enriching experiences of my life, and Josh and I would like to thank the American Alpine Club Mountain Fellowship Grant, Sterling Rope, Alpacka Rafts, Montbell, MSR and Evolv, as well as our hard working gauchos Cholo and Mikol, all of whom helped turn this pipe dream into reality.

Credit: Hoots

  Trip Report Views: 5,951
About the Author
Hoots is a climber from Toyota, Tacoma.

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Trad climber
  Feb 27, 2011 - 08:13am PT

Captain...or Skully

Boise, ID
  Feb 27, 2011 - 08:17am PT
Alright! Gettin' some, Hoots!
TFPU, BroMan. I can dig it.

  Feb 27, 2011 - 08:26am PT
Great TR! Super to hear about less traveled regions! Thank you

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Feb 27, 2011 - 09:10am PT
F*ckin' AAAAY !!

Way to go gentlemen. That's a beautiful line on Under A southern Star!

Shorts and no shirt? I didn't get any of that even when I was in the lowlands down there. Damn global warming.......

Mammoth Lakes, CA
Author's Reply  Feb 27, 2011 - 09:55am PT
Dang, the photos I uploaded are super small! There are bigger ones available at if you are so inclined...
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
  Feb 27, 2011 - 10:27am PT
looks like a great adventure!

Social climber
Choss Creek, ID
  Feb 27, 2011 - 11:01am PT

An honest to goodness, go to someplace new, suffer adversity, and do some new routes------- adventure!

Thank you for sharing.

Cardiff by the sea
  Feb 27, 2011 - 11:19am PT
That was sweet! It was nice to see other climbing in Patagonia other than the fitzroy masiff or paine. Nice work!

El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
  Feb 27, 2011 - 11:22am PT
Great !

Social climber
Durango CO
  Feb 27, 2011 - 11:26am PT
Nice! Great adventure fellas. Trip reports like this help me keep my sanity in this prison called Phoenix.

Mountain climber
Portland, OR
  Feb 28, 2011 - 03:15pm PT
Isn't it great that there are still places on Earth where you can find solitude and have a real adventure far from the maddening crowds? Sounds like my kind of trip guys... thanks for sharing.

A long way from where I started
  Feb 28, 2011 - 03:20pm PT
Now that's what climbing is really about.

The Granite State.
  Feb 28, 2011 - 03:25pm PT
Nice. That looks like a great trip.


Trad climber
Northern California
  Feb 28, 2011 - 03:32pm PT
Yahoo! I'll never get there but it makes me insanely happy to read of your adventures. Beautiful TR. Thanks so much
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
  Feb 28, 2011 - 03:39pm PT
Stunning. Thanks!


Trad climber
under the sea
  Feb 28, 2011 - 04:47pm PT

Social climber
Wilds of New Mexico
  Feb 28, 2011 - 05:00pm PT
Great adventure and TR- thanks.
norm larson

wilson, wyoming
  Feb 28, 2011 - 06:01pm PT
Great TR! Nice to know there are those out there seeking and finding true adventure in patagonia.

  Mar 1, 2011 - 06:21pm PT
Wow !
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Mar 1, 2011 - 06:37pm PT
World Class, thanks you made my day!!!!

  Mar 3, 2011 - 03:59am PT
Nice stuff, Hoots. When you get back to your Toyota, Tacoma, try and post up some more - and larger - shots. Thanks!

Boulder climber
santa cruz, CA
  Mar 3, 2011 - 03:24pm PT
Damn! i'm totally jealous!

awesome pictures and nice send!

Mammoth Lakes, CA
Author's Reply  Mar 11, 2011 - 12:24pm PT
Back in the States now, and have uploaded larger versions of the pictures in the TR. Hope this is better! Video on the way...

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
  Mar 11, 2011 - 12:40pm PT
YIKES! Ya mean there's still virgin rock afield and people willing
to go git it? Nice!

Big Wall climber
Ashland, Or
  Mar 11, 2011 - 01:51pm PT
dude that looks awesome. way to find some adventure fellas.

Trad climber
Central Coast
  Mar 11, 2011 - 05:32pm PT

Trad climber
  Mar 16, 2011 - 12:46am PT
A trip for the ages. Write down what happened so when your aged you will still get a taste of those memories. I hope to one day go on one of these journeys again.

Trad climber
  Mar 24, 2011 - 11:33am PT
Great to see Alapackarafts getting used on a climbing trip. Excellent TR.

Social climber
  Mar 24, 2011 - 11:43am PT
Oooooh, wow. The terrain looks wild but curiously like here in British Columbia but with more gnarly critters........... great tr. Thanks !
Mick K

Northern Sierra
  Mar 24, 2011 - 12:47pm PT
Very nice!

Mammoth Lakes, CA
Author's Reply  Mar 25, 2011 - 06:51pm PT
Video now live on Vimeo!
Matt Thomsen

Big Wall climber
  Mar 25, 2011 - 07:28pm PT
Cool shit!

Oakland, CA
  Feb 10, 2012 - 02:11pm PT
Bump for the goods. Glad I got a link to see this killer TR, even after it had sunk into the bottomless mess of shitpile threads.

Witness how the filth and sludge stream off of its shoulders as it heaves out of the landfill and back into the light. It's alive! Breathe, TR, breathe and inspire more TR's!

10 Half Domes, though? GTFO of here :) There's only one HD.

Under a Southern Star looks wild, full value, wet. Looking at what you were carrying, looks like you guys went light. How many bolts? Couldn't have been many, guessing.

I like the description of the death slabs-ish approach, but with 5.10.

Edit: bookmarked the vid for the next 30 minute block I get. Thanks for putting it together.

Trad climber
The state of confusion
  Feb 11, 2012 - 12:22am PT

Whoo hoo!!!!

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
  Feb 11, 2012 - 10:30am PT
Super!!! Great weather this year in Patagonia. Place looks rad. Got to keep bumping climbing threads, only the gossip ones get a life of their own on ST.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Feb 11, 2012 - 02:13pm PT
Very Cool and way Bad Azz, thanks for sharing!

It is one of my life long dreams to make it down there some day!!!

  Feb 11, 2012 - 03:15pm PT
Love it!

Trad climber
Hustle City
  Feb 11, 2012 - 05:31pm PT

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
  Apr 13, 2012 - 09:45pm PT

Gym climber
sawatch choss
  Jan 2, 2013 - 05:04pm PT
Winter daydream bump.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Jan 2, 2013 - 05:13pm PT
Great bump! Thank you for posting such awesome stuff.

Sport climber
Made in California, living in The Old Pueblo
  Jan 2, 2013 - 07:56pm PT
phew. great tr... great "jump shot".


Trad climber
CA Central Coast
  Jan 2, 2013 - 10:09pm PT
wow this was sick!!!!

missed it first time around I guess

Trad climber
Oaksterdam, CA
  Jan 3, 2013 - 01:45pm PT
Thanks for the bump!
Larry Nelson

Social climber
  Jun 22, 2016 - 02:37pm PT
Bump for great climbing content
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