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The Climbing Space!

Updated: Jan 8

The Climbing Space!


To succeed in Patagonia, you must take a chance, you can't just sit waiting, your head bowed and cast. Don't get in a twist, don't walk down that path, just go day by day, then climb hard, light and fast.


There are climbers just waiting. Waiting for the wind to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or a No or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting……………………………..

Have you checked the weather? I can almost guess, the first question comes, after much troubled rest. Same same, the routine of El Chalten varies little day to day, for a climber just waiting, with not much to say. What's interesting though, is what happens next. What will they do, when the sky turns blue? When things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t stew. Just go right along. You’ll start happening too.

But many climbers do not. They sit down in town, fearing the worst. The weather is frightening and makes them feel cursed. Often they fear what can happen out there. It is strange in a way, to sit waiting in fear.

Some of us go, but it's not guaranteed. The weather is fickle, the wind strong indeed. Our first day of climbing ends in retreat, Torre Egger was hard to defeat. Following on, we lower our sights, Medialuna proved quite the delight……… Then it's back out to town, fighting the wind as it pushes us down.

One thing's for sure, if you stay in Chalten, if you sit on your arse and stay waiting for when. When the weather is perfect, the sun's in the sky, the wind doesn't blow and all birds can fly. You will probably just sit, so it's best just to go, even if the forecast might twist to and fro. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)


A window, Steve spotted, small, bleak and mean. 12 hours of respite, what could this sign mean? Our gear stashed up high, our minds in the sky, we head out of town, will Exocet fly? The wind it is frightening, the cold harsh and biting. We cuddle for warmth, hanging belays aplenty, falling ice filled the sky and rained down the chimney. But after a push, the summit mushroom was fried, and it's down in the rain, cold biting pain, ropes getting stuck on tricky terrain. We walk back to town, our frowns upside down. Standhardts in the bag, Exocet, it went down.

We head off to the Torre, going the long way. The weather starts well then begins to decay. Not far from the top, it really goes pop And we rush back on down but we don't go to town. After some sleep, the sun was still shining. El Mocho looked good and got our faces quite smiling. We rush for the top and the weather slams down. Snow, wind and rain arrive and bring pain.

It's not long to go now, our tickets expire. One final push, one more dance in the fire. The weathers not great, but we go just the same. It's the Supercaneleta we must up our game. -20 freezes our hands and our feet. But we keep pushing on with no thought of retreat. Our persistence pays off and the weather comes fine, We race to the top, the sunsets just in time.


So………………………………. be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea, you’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So…get on your way!


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