...The Rest of the Story

Twelve years ago, when Scott and I were in middle school and likely more interested in Magic Cards than mountains, Jim Donini and Greg Crouch climbed the West Pillar of Cerro Pollone, in Chilean Patagonia. The account of their climb (and the fact that it hadn't been completed to the summit)  inspired me several years ago:

"...featured tons of high-angle free climbing on superb rock. The summit view from the top of the pillar is astonishing ... probably the best I've had in Patagonia. ... I think the whole route would go free with just a few short sections of 5.11. The right team should be able to peel the whole thing off in a single day."



Cosas Patagonicas Libre!

Scott and I woke after our climb on Guillaumet to the appearance of several teams of climbers who had just arrived in the mountains. Apparently the weather would stay good for several more days, which had compelled some folks to wait and plan bigger objectives, and others to try and to cram back-to-back climbs into the six days of splitterness. We had no more food, but psyche in abundance. And an unrepeated route established when I was 3 years old was beckoning...
Freeing new ground on Mermoz. Shame about the crummy rock...


First Ascent of Las Vent'uras

Sunset over the ice cap
Boundary Bay Oatmeal Stout vs Great Divide's Belgian 'Colette'. Riding my bike to sunny baseball games at Coors Field. Sneaking good food into a bad movie at the dollar theater. Feeling too full to want more food. Being warm. These and similar thoughts dominated my mind as we drudged down the final few hundred feet of glacier to our camp at Piedras Negras. I was thrilled to have pulled off a new route after a week in the range, but at the time, probably even more thrilled to just crawl into a tent and pass out.