Graham aidding out the horizontal crack in full conditions.
Down we went into the winds. The rope pulling was a fearful affair, but all went well to the col. Ropes took flight into the dark emptiness as we reeled them in. Then down we went into the coulior. With manky rock ice and snow anchors, a bollard failed (before we loaded it). We downclimbed, more raps, before reaching the bottom safe and sound.
Los Gemelos with "The Slash" marked in green and Audios Ayer
(IV 5.10 Turner-Matthews Jan 2009) in blue.
As we walked back the sun was coming up.
21 hours of pushing resulted in ¨The Slash¨on Los Gemelos, IV+ 5.10b A2, Stokage.
One more marginal weather window appeared before we rallied.
It was my 24th Birthday.
It had just dumped snow... rime ice was everywhere. After wallowing in deep snow we made it to the col between Hoja and Espada, intent upon making the FA of Hoja´s N Ridge. Snow covered mixed slabby made climbing hard and scary. It led to a pitch that I threw myself at... aidding, tooling, freeing, nothing would do. Agro... I called down to Ian that it was time to go down. Ian brought the stoke back...
It was time for Ian to leave. His expedtion was over and I was done with the Paine. All in all we'd had an amazing time in a beautiful valley. Life is SO RAD.
We sat in Puerto Natales and savored the experiences we have had and dreamt of the future... pitches, mountains, girls, beers, jobs... we were back to the real world for a minute. Before I know it, Ian is gone and I am on my way to Chalten for another 6 weeks in the Andes.
Now I am chilling here in another promised land. The worst weather that anyone can seem to remember in Patagonia is still raging over the peaks. But a weather window is on the cusp, we are primed, stoked and ready to send.
This trip would not have been possible without the amazing support that we received from the New Zealand Alpine Club, Petzl and Second Ascent. Huge thanks to those guys!