I bailed out of Reno (via WTC 50k) faster than Butch and Sundance. It proved just as fatal as I arrived in El Chalten, Argentina (or was it Bolivia) some 30+ hours later barely able to stand and ankles as puffy as Erik Skaggs circa August 2009. That is his new nickname, but only because he drinks CIROC.
Bursts of adrenaline mimicked race day, and managed to keep me going as glimpses of the Andes through the clouds materialized over the sage covered plains. Did I mention we had to dodge Emu/Ostrich?, coyote, guanaca, and armadillo on the way! The photograph here is pretty iconic but has become more progressive as the trip from Calafate is now about 2 hours from 6.
From what I have heard, this place has been reupholstered over the last few years. I have good word it’s to many folks dismay and now resembles something like Crested Butte or an ancient Telluride. Has it lost the appeal or sense of adventure it once shared with only a few gutsy travelers? I’m not so sure, but I think it only takes a few minutes on the trails out of town to get it back.
We immediately hiked up a 2,000ft trail to a mesa overlooking the Rio Fitz Roy and the set of granite spires that have designed this trip. I did a little video testimonial for the Better Than Naked line (blue jacket) that I have been wearing but it proved a little hard after little to no sleep and I couldn’t quite get my lines down, good thing they still love me for my running.
|Business or pleasure?|
|One of the most beautiful sunrises ever.|
Monday evening bled into Tuesday with not much sleep, but we were certainly rewarded with great light on Fitz Roy and amazingly Cerro Torre. Tracy has not been felling well, the ills of traveling halfway around the world, but put together some fantastic images with me. We also completed a few video vignettes at several locations and I am amazed at the work these guys compile.
|El Chalten below.|
We did finish last night with an amazing dinner complete with climbing wall décor. I can’t say were roughing it yet but the weather is supposed to turn and I need to get back to work, yeah right!
|Not just a town in the Arkansas River Valley.|