Currently in Bariloche. Enjoying the sun. We had an Epic 15 hour drive up. Now in a campsite which at $10 a night I am glad that the school are paying. Anyway I can´t be long as I have to try and sort out some stuff for the next few days in Bariloche.

I saw Frey last night in the Apen Glow as we heading into town. I was told that Bariloche was a little like swirtzerlñand. I wasn´t expecting them to mean geneva, its a big place. Very busy compared to everywherer we have been. Laters

Off to Argentina!!!

Well, our time round Coyhaique is coming to an end, and we have to head North into Argentina, to a place called Frey. The area lies 4 hours up in the mountains, and consists of numerous small granite towers. If you looked at the link from the last post, you’ll see that the area looks stunning. I am really excitied, I have joked with the group that it is going to be a learning through watching. In that I want to lead climb everything!

Unfortunately I will no doubt be jumaring next to the group as they do some more trad leading. All teh same though it is very, very exciting. Although we first have to get into Argentina. My plan is not to mention the war. We can’t take any food, so have to spend a day shopping, not to mention the 15 hour drive North. Split between me and Thomas, so it will feel like a real busmans holiday.

During our time up there I suspect that we will be cut off from the ‘real world’, which incidentally I only found out that North and South Korea are squaring up to each other, with Obama muscling up behind the south, saying “we Got Your Back’. So god knows what will have happened by the time I return!

So unless I find an old school internet cafe with its own PC’s I will be off the net. I can feel my body starting to twitch already as I go cold turkey from the world wide web! Asta Manyana……see you on the otherside!

A rather ominous thud!

Well, we headed out tofday to hit Cerro Mckay, on the outskirts of Coyhaique. As I put my bag down ready to go out, it fell over, in a kind of slow motion ‘TIMBER” kind of way. There was an ominous thud from within. Anyway when we got to the crag I discovered that the 77mm UV filter that protects the end of my £1500 lens had done its job, and protected the expensive glass. Unfortunately, the Camera shop in the town, doesn’t have any, and there response to finding one local was, ‘Is Difficult’. So I will have to be very careful on my trip to frey.

Unless someone who is reading this is on there way to Coyhaique, or you have a spare?!! Like I said a 77mm lens filter preferably UV or Polarizer. I would ask for one to be posted, but I will be back in the UK before it arrives no doubt! Anyway here are some pics from today.

The route, has been a firm favourite with the whole group. The climbing is generally easy, but for a three move boulder problem by the second bolt on the last pitch. The rock is solid so it made a great intro to multipitched climbing for the group. The route is bolted for easy access and egress with a 60m rope, so is usually done in six rather than 3 pitches. We were held up so we shortened it to three pitches, and combined ropes for a rapid abseil descent. Totally awesome, a classic of the area

Pitch 1 - Iain runs up the runout easy section to the belay

Linus wades up through jugsZack, hot on my Heels up pitch 3.

Iain on the final exposed, and fantastically positioned pitch

Back at Base Camp

The rest of the week down in Ibanez was a little wet, we did end up hiding in tents for half a day. The wind really picked up as well over the last two days. We did manage to get out, but it was more like survival than climbing. Especially this morning on the main crag, I was hanging on not for fear of falling off but being blown off (…and not in a good way!)

So we are now back at Base Camp, having a few days to re-group before heading to argentina to go climbing in Frey. Which sounds awesome. I will get some images up of the rest of the trip in Ibanez, although much of the time was spent throwing rescue scenarios at the students and seeing what they’d do.

All good in Ibanez

Well the first couple of days in Ibanez has been great, unfortunately one of the group has got an eye infection, so I have driven him 2 hours back to Coyhaique. The group made there first multipitch leads on a sports routes. They are still out with Thomas today, and I hope to be back with the group tomorrow.

Here are some pictures, rumour has it a rock trip (maybe the petzl one?) will be visiting the area we are climbing in January.

The new refugio for climbers at Maintnel, Ibanez

Zack rigging the top rope from AbseilBreakfast!!! No just lambs visiting us for Breakfast.

Blindfold Climbing
Will makes his first multi-pitch lead
Linus, hangs out multipitch climbing
Abseiling back off the climbs
Dramatic clouds promise some weather as the pressure drops!

Coyhaique Boulder

Well after have the group teach some lessons of various aspects of single pitch climbing, we spent the afternoon on the Coyhaique Boulder. It has been super hot here over the last few days. Although as I drove into town town the weather looked as though it was about to break.

We plan to head out on the road again in the beast for 5/6 days on tuesday morning.

Here are some shots from the day.

The 'Beast', our trusty steed!
A hive of cragging activity
Ian shows some true grit
Zack relives Romeo and Juliet - 'Where for ou't though'
No Bouldering session is complete without a flapper.

Anyone fancy two weeks in LA?

As a bye product of me returning for Christmas, after the course in Patagonia has finished. I have got a flight out to LA on the 15th Jan, and a return on the 2nd of Feb. I was wondering if anyone was keen for a two week trip to Joshua Tree. Just thought I’d see if anyone is interested, although I might just stay in the UK, it depends on my cash flow after I have returned and brought me a new car.