Trip ReportPiedra Parada
Ever since the Petzl RocTrip in 2012, Piedra Parada has become the place to clip bolts in Argentina (bring a few pieces of gear if you want to summit the Piedra). It was time to see if the place lived up to the hype. In a word, the answer is "Yes". Piedra Parada turns bolt clipping up to eleven.
Part 1: The Journey South
The Piedra is smack dab in the middle of nowhere (forget the phone connection). It's 1750 kms from my house (coming from the Atlantic more than 200 kms are dirt road) so we decided to spend two days driving and visit the Patagonian coast on the way.
The girls are ready to go.
A guanaco cuts into Patagonian traffic
His buddies play it cool
Birds look for shade and/or camouflage
The Patagonian ostrich (the Ñandu)
The Patagonian rabbit/deer (the Mara)
It looks like the coast must be near
Maybe this guy knows the way
Here we go!
If you zoom in on the coast you will you see it's littered with blubbery, living things, although none of them is human.
The shoreline in Patagonia is crowded in a different way
Take it easy!
This youngster seemed to be contemplating
Though she wasn't alone
No shortage of birds
We found the boardwalk
and spent the night in Puerto Pirámides
Part 2: 10 Days at the Piedra
Shelter for 10 days (the kids slept in the VE-25)
There's climbing in them-there hills!
Gaby leading our first route: a 5.8 that overhung 15 feet!
This nearby 5.9 was one of dozens of 5-star routes we climbed (Gaby on the sharp-end)
Evening entertainment at the Piedra
Martín, Analía and Rafi arrived the next day
Gaby playing porter in the canyon
Analía top-roping a 5.9
Gaby belaying a Brazilian on a 6a+, two Chilean girls on a 6b, Martín and Analía on a 6a+ and Fede with some kids from Balcarce on a 7a.
Same wall, different angle
The 6a+s and the 6b were easy for the grades (more like 5.9s) but they were way good, anyways!
Fede and the kids went down the hill to climb a 6c
Breakfast is served!
Gaby and the kids. The German is sitting behind, working on his notes.
The German warmed up by hiking 6c+'s
Some days were cold
One of the best routes we did was the following 6b+. It was easy for the grade (maybe 10b or 10c) but it was 13 bolts of beautiful, steep, bolt-clipping ecstasy.
Time to go back to camp
Rafi trying to look studly for the girls
The furthermost area of established climbing, near the end of the main canyon, is called "La Calavera". Look for a skull on the wall past the narrow side canyon
Martín belaying Analía (invisible) in the Canyon of the Calavera (the small side canyon visible in the previous photo)
More evening entertainment
Let's go climbing!
The Jardín de Edén has 5 different 5-star lines. Great climbing! Here the grades felt solid
Gaby leading the 6a: 13 bolts of continuous, pumpy, vertical to slightly overhanging climbing on positive holds. Good lead, Gaby!
Me climbing something else in the Jardín. More bolt-clipping ecstasy!
The swimming hole
Beautiful light on our last walk out
Here is the official Petzl movie about the 2012 RocTrip, if anyone is interested in that sort of thing. The video does make some interesting use of music.
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