Update 5 - 18th December, Fitz Roy via the North Pillar
Very happy to be back in town after completing one of my dream Patagonian climbs. Ten years ago on my first trip to Patagonia with Dennis Demonchy I saw the Fitz Roy massif and the North Pillar of Fitz Roy. At the time i had neither the skills or the experience for such a large route. Ever since that first trip I have dreamed of summiting Fitz Roy via the North Pillar. For me this is one of the best lines of the Fitz Roy massive, long, sustained and committing. I first made an attempt with Ruben Hull in 2008 reaching a high point of around 16 pitches up the route. We were turned back by heavily iced up cracks on the Cassarotto route. At the time I thought these were simply un climbable. I was later to learn this is just part of climbing in places like Patagonia. It is rear to find climbs in perfect bottom to top condition. The skill of succeeding on expeditions is about climbing what you find on the day, not what you want to find.
Click on the photos below to see all of the pics uploaded to our FB Album. (You do not have to be a FB user to access these)
In 2012 with Steve Fortune I was back on the North Pillar, this time we climbed to the top of the pillar but were unable to continue on to the summit. Freezing winds and a decision to only bring one pair of alpine boots while the second would remain in rock shoes for the final snow and ice slopes to the summit proved our undoing. While I took some comfort in the fact that we summated Fitz Roy two days later via the Franco Argentine and had reached the top of the North Pillar I still felt there was much un finished business on Fitz Roy and the North Pillar. I really wanted to summit via the line I had dreamed of for so many years.
2013 I was back in Patagonia. For this trip we were focused on other objectives and the North Pillar was put to one side for attempts on Torre Egger and Cerro Torre. With Steve Fortune and Jono Clarke we did however summit Fitz Roy via the classic Super Canaletta. Conditions were absolutely horrible but it proved to me just how far we could push. I no longer feared the cold, iced up cracks I had encountered on those early attempts on Fitz Roy.
November 2014 and I arrive in El Chalten with Owen Davis from Australia. We have been progressively ticking off a range of small objectives making the most of very short weather windows. The final week of our trip comes round faster than I expect and I have all but shut the door on the North Pillar for this season. This is partly due to the bad weather we had been getting and partly due to the fact all our alpine gear is stashed at Nipinino in the Torre Valley quite some way from the base of the North Pillar. Then with seven days to go for our trip a two day weather window appears in the forecast. Owen and myself walk in early before the good weather arrives and pick up our gear at Nipinino. After a night on the glacier we left for a bivvy at the base of Fitz Roy. This proved to be a longer walk than we had anticipated about 8-9 hours later we are in the double bivvy bag melting snow with the Jet Boil while the wind whips at us from all directions. It is a constant battle to keep the Jet Boil alight inside the open bivvy bag. After a couple of hours sleep we leave our bivvy and head towards the North Pillar. 5am sees us climbing the first of three mixed pitches. This season the difficult route conditions are in the lower half of the route. When we reach the base of the true corner on Mate, Porro y Todo lo Demás we find the cracks to be choked with ice. What would usually be excellent jam cracks become tenuous face climbing and aid affairs. We don’t consider quitting though. If you take my last two trips to Patagonia, up to this point it is the first time in 9 weeks of being there over two separate trips that I have had more than 12 hours of good weather in the Forecast. There is no way I would consider backing out on the first day of a two day window. After the first 10 pitches Owen takes over the lead and we spend the rest of the day, all of the night and two hours of the following morning getting to the top of the North Pillar, arriving around 2am. We sit for a few hours brewing up some water. Korra one of our friends from Chamonix comes over to our small ledge on top of the Pillar. Are you going to the top he asks. We have been climbing with the French team for most of the day. Definitely I reply. If I am being honest I actually wasn’t to sure. It was bitterly cold and windy, nothing like the zero wind speeds forecast two days before. I had very little sleep for the past 3 days and my body ached from a big day of climbing. It was also my block to lead us to the summit and as I looked up towards the iced head wall leading to the summit of Fitz Roy it was easy to find excuses why I didn’t want to go. However Im glad Korra asked the question as now I had given my answer there was no going back. It was time to face a demon from the past. I had been in this position before and turned back. This time I would go and climb until I either reached the summit of was stopped by the difficulties I encountered. The first pitch off the col proved to be the defining moment. The climbing was not so difficult 6b or grade 20 by kiwi standards. However the crack I had placed my cams in was a hollow flake filled with ice. I was 8m above a ledge and I am sure if I fell the fall would have broken something, the climbing swapped from crack to face climbing and there was no way to aid through the crux. It was simply a case of do the moves stay calm and keep on climbing. My arms burned with pump as I moved up and away from the crack. A few face moves over icy rock and that was all it took. From here I was focused, my mind was made up and I was enjoying the day. We were going to the summit and nothing was going to stop us today. I was certain that the French team would not be the only ones reaching the summit that day.
By 3pm we were making the final moves to the summit of Fitz Roy. I was lucky enough to have a few moments alone on top. I had fixed the rope for Owen and while I waited for him to arrive, I stop, atop Fitz Roy alone, soaking up the view and feeling the satisfaction that comes from completing a long term project. I think of what I have left at home, a pregnant partner, family and friends. To chase your dreams you often have to sacrifice much. I think of them, especially Julie, 8 months pregnant and never showing anything but excitement for our trip, No doubt she is nervous wondering if we will make it down safely. I must stay focused for on the descent to ensure I arrive back to town. I think of Steve who I know would have liked to share this route and summit with me. We have put in many days together in the mountains of Patagonia with several good summits to our partnership. Hopefully next season he will be back his broken leg fully healed. The North Pillar is just one of many climbing goals for Patagonia. There are many years, many mountains and many more ascents still remaining. All of this makes me focus on the task at hand. The descent will be long, we are already tired. There is no time to rest, the weather forecast will not allow it.
Reaching the top is not the end of the climb, the project was only half done. As we had gear at the base of the pillar we could not take the faster descent with the French team down the Franco Argentine route. We also came up the mountain with just one pair of crampons and two ice axes meaning it would be rather hard to get own down the snow slopes at the base of the Franco Argentine route. Therefore we are committed to heading back down the Pillar. This involves going down the summit head wall, re climbing to the North Pillar then absailing through the night to the base of the mountain. The descent was long and slow. All night we absail, the rope gets stuck many times. We are now on a tight timeline. The good weather is going to finish early the next morning. With the weather window closing there is no one who could reach us on the mountain. We must pay attention and make sure everything is done correctly. 7 pitches from the base of the mountain the weather was already starting to turn. Our weather window had closed and it was time to get the hell off the mountain before high winds rendered that impossible. I was getting so tired I had started to nod off at the belays. Luckily the wind is getting quite strong and the cold wakes me up and keeps me alert. 11am and all the descent is finished. We melt a litre of water at our bivvy spot. Eat a quick meal, suck down some GU and quickly begin our walk out from the base of the Pillar. Even though we have not really slept for several days we have no choice but to get moving. High winds, rain and snow begin to whip the glacier. It is no longer a good time to be out in the mountains.
Down in the forest close to the road I sit by a river waiting for Owen. I had last seen him two hours before on the edge of the glacier. I figure he has taken the opportunity to get some sleep. Some of our other friends are at the river and they offer me coffee and a fruit bar. Generosity is alive and well in the mountains. We discuss what we think was a rescue we saw the night before. They no nothing about it having been off on their own adventure on the ice cap. After two hours still no Owen and we give up waiting for him and head to the road. Luckily five minutes after arriving to the road he shows up and we hitch back to town ready for a night of celebration. After a 500g steak Owen bails to bed. I guess the party will have to wait until tomorrow. I don’t complain though, our first time climbing together, four successful summits for the month long trip and very little good weather to aid in those ascents. We had fought hard and come away with some good wins. Now I can return back to NZ satisfied and happy, to enjoy Christmas at home with family and friends, looking ahead to the next challenges in life has to offer.
Update 4 - 7th December
Rock! Lars Martin presses his body against the moraine wall. Whack… a basket ball sized rock lands 10cms from his head. Around 20 minutes before the Norwegian guys had looked at us a bit strangely when we said we were putting our helmets on for the approach walk across the moraine wall. From the safety of the forest this seemed like a rather odd thing to be doing. As we now watched rocks fly off the side of the moraine wall in the high winds no one seemed to question the decision for wearing the helmets. Ok go now I yell out to Lars and he runs across the moraine towards a sheltered spot where we wait under a large boulder. Just another day walking up the Torre Valley. This year the way to the glacier has been washed out and we must cross a 100m wide section of very dangerous moraine wall. This has been proving problematic as when ever it is windy or wet the moraine wall comes alive and rocks fly in all directions. The reason this is problematic for us is we are usually approaching in bad weather which pretty much means we play Russian roulette for about 20 minutes each time we walk up the glacier. Fortunately this trip ends with no injuries and we move past the moraine and onto the Torre Glacier.
We were showing our new Norwegian friends how to get to Nipinino it was their first time to Patagonia. I don’t think Lars Martin will easily forget his first walk up to camp in the wind and rain. When we arrive to Nipinino, Owen and myself decide not to pitch our tent. We sort our clothes and eat a quick meal before lying down in the Norwegians’ tent for one hour resting between 4pm and 5pm. We had left El Chalten at 9.30am that morning and were on our way to try Mt Rafael Juarez. As our weather window was going to be quite short and fell overnight we had decide to go non stop Chalten – Chalten in a push. This involves around 45km of hiking in and out from the mountain and about 2500m – 3000m of height gain. The route we are hoping to climb is around 15 pitches of rock climbing with difficulties up to 6c or grade 22 in NZ grades.
At 5.30pm the wind is still blowing pretty strongly at Nipinino but we shoulder our packs to start the final approach to Rafael. Waiving goodbye to our mates there I suggest to Lars Martin our odds for success are probably only 50/50 as we don’t know if the wind will slow down enough to allow us to climb. By 9pm we are at the base of Rafael. Here we enter a nice sheltered corner and start to simul climb the first 11 pitches of the route. It’s fairly cold and we climb mostly in gloves moving into rock shoes as the difficulty increases. After 11 pitches of simul climbing we change lead and Owen takes over for the last five crux pitches to the summit. I am very cold on the belay. The head wall of Rafael is quite steep and we end up in a couple of hanging belays where I shiver away the early hours of the morning with my feet in climbing shoes stuffed into my back pack to try and cut down the wind chill which is freezing them. Owen fires off some great leads moving over steep frozen rock alternating between gloves and bare hands. I follow all the pitches with my hands buried deep inside some large leather gloves. The climbing is quite good and as we reach the final pitch the sun rises and we are greeted to an amazing sunrise over the Torre Massif. By 6am we are starting the first rappels just as the wind and snow kick in. For the next 12 hours we descend the mountain and walk back to town. Lashed by the wind and rain we arrive back to El Chalten 33 hours after leaving, wet, cold, tired and hungry. We are pretty stoked though as we have picked the weather window exactly right. I don’t think we could have managed anything larger and our arrival time at the summit was just when it needed to be, to ensure we could get down before the weather really packed it in. We quickly shower at our hostel and after our traditional post climb steak, chips and beer fall into a deep restless sleep. See more photos from the climb on our Facebook album.
Update 3 - 1st December
Owen and myself have just got back from four days up at Nipinino on the Torre Glacier. We headed on for a low pressure window otherwise known as a sucker hole. Usually because you end up doing all of the approach and the weather is too bad for any climbing once you get there. However....... this time we were lucky and managed to sneak in two ascents. First up we climbed a very nice ice line on El Mocho, called Todo O Nada. The crux of the climb consisted of 6, 60m pitches of good ice and mixed climbing with difficulties up to WI4+ and M5.
The following morning we woke up around 10am and the weather was great. Relatively warm and light winds so we decided to push for one more route. Thanks to regular weather updates on our sat phone we knew that there was around 16 hours before the wind really stepped up so figured that even though there was light snow forecast for the afternoon we should be ok. Our approach to the base of the actual climbing on De La S, up a 1000m long snow couloir took around 4 hours. From the col between St Exupiery and De La S it’s around 250m of rock climbing combined with a bunch of alpine scrambling that lead you to a really nice pointed summit pyramid. We were not expecting too many complications as the climbing difficulties are around 6a+ or kiwi grade 18 – 19. What we didn’t count on was a truly fierce snow storm blowing in just as we started the rock climbing section of the route. Temperatures plummeted, the cracks almost instantly filled with snow and ice. We were really suffering through the two hours this storm lasted. I am hard pressed to ever remember rock climbing in such cold conditions. Full winter boots and gloves with all of our clothing on. Luckily the route followed a series of wide cracks that were perfect for climbing in your big alpine boots. Fortunately the storm was short and fierce and a couple of hours later the snow stopped and we reached the summit on a clear cold night around 9pm.
The storm had snap frozen all the descent couloir, and the small streams that run on the glacier around our camp. From post holing on the way up sometimes in knee deep snow to cramponing with a full freeze on the way down the change in conditions over such a short period of time was hard to believe. This was a first for me to see how such a brief intense cold could re freeze our snow approach and the surrounding streams so quickly. It was like someone opened the door of a giant blast freezer then turned the dial right down as low as it could go. For more photos, check out our facebook page.
Update 2 - 25th November
A week seems like a long time when your waiting on the weather. Owen and myself have kept busy rock climbing around town and making one attempt to sneak in a climb between the bad weather. Unfortunately this saw us walking all night, leaving our Hostel at 11pm and arriving at Piedra Del Negra around 4am. We to then sat in our bothy bag shivering at the base of the mountain while it dumped snow down on us. We waited a couple of hours for daylight and the snow to stop but as daylight came the snow kept falling and we walked back to town. I was having to make do with just the cloths I had left in town as most of my gear including my good gloves, jackets etc is all stashed up at Nipinino in the Torre Glacier. The prospect of climbing iced up rock in light gloves and my town fleece rather than a good down jacket and warm gloves made the decision to head back down fairly easy!!
All up the first week has been a good one for us. We have broken our legs in walking well over 100km up and down various glaciers and hills dropping off gear and trying to get some alpine climbing in. The weather has not allowed us to even start up an alpine climb. This ment our only climbing options have been sport climbing in town. This has been great for me as I try to get back into rock climbing after a month off nursing a figure injury which is slowly making a recovery.
A good high pressure system looks to be on the way for the end of the week, Owen has borrowed some ice climbing boots and if all goes to plan we will head back up to Nipinino Wednesday ready for an attempt on Cerro Torre over the weekend.
You can check out a few pics from the trip on our FB page by clicking the link here
Update 1 - 20th November
After missing my flight to El Calafate (thanks for updating me on the change of flight time Air NZ Holidays....) I arrived rather tired and grumpy to El Chalten. The following morning Owen and myself sorted gear and took our first load part way up the Torre Glacier. We had switched our plan from the North Piller on Fitz Roy over to the West Face on Cerro Torre, as it looked like all the recent snow had left the North and East facing climbs out of condition. Im still unsure if this is the right call but I guess time will tell. Day two saw us walking again from town up the Torre Glacier and picking up the packs we had dropped in the forest yesterday. We slept for a few hours at the edge of the Torre Glacier before a 2am start and approach to El Mocho where we hoped to climb the ice line El Nada. Unfortunately for us the weather did not improve and we made our way in the wind and rain up to Nipinino Camp. Once we reached the camp we decided the weather was to bad for climbing depositing all our equipment and food under a rock, ready for the next attempt. Regardless of what the weather had actually done this as it turned out was our only option for that day. Owen's boots had unfortunately dropped off his pack while jumping a crevasses on the glacier and were well and truly lost forever. While we wait out the next few days of bad weather in El Chalten wish us luck on the hunt for some new boots for Owen!! You can check out a few pics from the trip on our FB page by clicking the link here
New Zealand Alpine Team Expedition
Mt Fitz Roy 14th November – 20th December 2014
Daniel Joll, Owen Davis
Macpac (clothing, packs, sleeping bags and tents), Jetboil (cooking stoves), Tendon Ropes, Gu Energy
Ascents of Mt Fitz Roy via the North Pillar and West Face of Cerro Torre.
El Chalten is now an established town with accommodation, climbing shops, groceries, and restaurants. There is wifi and internet cafes, and weather forecasting is available (see www.pataclimb.com/knowledge/cheltenweather.html). The weather is general poor in the mountains, with short clearances in which to climb. It makes sense to stay in comfort in El Chalten, watch the forecast and move quickly on an objective once the weather starts to clear. To make this easier, you can stash your climbing equipment at a high bivvy site (eg Noruegos or Passo Superior) and walk in lighter. So tactically it’s good to have multiple objectives accessed from this single base. For this expedition we will be basing our gear stash at Piedra Negra around 5 hours walk from the road end. This is a great spot to access the North Pillar, East face Fitz Roy and routes on Guillaumet & Mermoz.
The Climbs we are aiming for on this expedition are all long free routes. However instead of having the second following via free climbing we will most likely have the leader climbing and short fixing with the second jummaring with the pack.
As the leader pulls the ropes to fix the seconds will dismantle the belay and fix their jummars to the ends of each rope. No knots in the ends of the ropes. The leader calls fixed and both seconds start to jummar.
Where short fixing we will be using am 80m 9.8mm single rope. We will also take two half ropes 60m each 8.5mm and a cragging rope for climbing in town.
Before the trip get a copy of each persons family contact details in the own country and give to each other, plus find out if anyone has any special medical conditions.
Travel Tips for Argentina
At the time of travel the official exchange rate was around 12 Peso - 1 USD. Black market rates were between 13 - 14 Peso per 1 USD
On the way home I stayed in Hotel Bauen http://www.bauenhotel.com.ar/ a room with breakfast was around $50 NZD for the night or 440 peso. Central and clean.
In El Chalten we spend our time at Hostel Aylen Aike. This is one of the best hostels in Chalten if your a climber. Sabestian the owner keeps a very clean and tidy hostel, plus he is a climber and really goes out of his way to look after the visiting climbers. You will find other teams from all over the world here and its a great place to spend your bad weather days next to the fire with a bottle of wine from his collection. You can contact Sabestian via fb or email. Its good to book ahead if you have a big team.
If your looking for the best steak house in Palermo or for that matter one of the best in Buenos Aires dont forget to check out La Cabrera http://www.parrillalacabrera.com.ar/ you can book online.
Airport taxi from the international airport - Che Lulu set us back $50 USD. We got the usual tourist bump with a quote of $40 USD that grew to $50 by the time we arrived at our destination! After checking prices at our hostel we found that the non gringo price should have been around 300 Peso or 25 USD.
The Gear List has been made up for a two man team with the plan of climbing mostly rock routes. Ice gear has been included as well as you never know what the conditions will end up being like.
For this trip we are staying in an apartment in town with a high gear stash at Piedra Negra.
- Boil in a bag meals, 6 double size meals per person
- Gu Shots x 40 per person
- Gu Chomps 20 packets per person
- Power Bars x 30 per person make sure they are ones that don't freeze to easily
- Gu Brew Tabs x 50 per person
This will give us enough climbing food for two – three full attempts, 20 – 60 hours each. For any one day attempts where we are just learning the route etc or making the most of a short weather window we will use other food from town. As of the2013 -2014 season there was little good climbing specific food available to buy in town, you can however get a most other food there including things like instant mash for taking on the mountain.
- 1 x 9.8mm 80m rope for jummaring and short fixing.
- 2 x half ropes 60m.
- 1 x cragging rope for town
- 12x quickdraws for town cragging.
- 20m of 6mm prussic cord for fixing anchors.
- Main climbing crampons for ice climbing
- 1 x light weight aluminium alpine climbing crampon
- 2 x ice axe and or mixed climbing tools per person with hammers
- 1 x light weight walking axe
- 1 x small file for sharpening crampons / picks
- 1 x spare pick for ice tools.
- 1 x allen key or spanner for tightening axes
- 1 x travel bag for crampons
- 12 light weight 60cm extendable quick draws
- 2 x 120cm light weight spectra sewn sling
- Pitons (approx 6, 3 each of knife blades and angles)
- 2 x auto locking screw gate style biners for atc and fixing anchors per person.
- 2 x light weight screw gates per person
- 5 x old snap locks per person for leaving on abseils on the route.
- 1 x atc guide style belay device per person
- 2 x jummars
- 2 x daisy chain or safety sling per person small spectra style light ones
- 2 x alpine light weight etrier per person (or foot loops for 2nds)
- 1 x helmet per person light under 400g
- 1 x climbing harness per person (needs to weigh less than 350g)
- 1 x climbing harness for cragging in town
- 2 x sets of wires number 1 – 8 + 1 set rps & offsets
- Double set of cams 0-4 camalots
- 1 x light weight biner per cam
- 12 x ice screws for team, 2 long, 8 med 2 short
- Ice screw sharpener
- 1 x V threader per person
- Umbilicales for attaching ice axes to harness
- Ice Clippers for harness
- 3 yates screamers
- 1 x chalk bag per person
- 1 x spare pot of chalk
- 3 x rolls of hand tape per person or crack climbing gloves.
- 1 x sky hook + 1 x talon + 1 x copperhead
- 1 x fifi hook
- 2 x light weight alpine aiders
- 2 x grigri. Adapted for self belay
- 3 x tibloc
- 1 x micro traction
- 1 x monical or similar binoculars [optional]
Route bivvy gear:
- 1 x shovel (light weight) [optional]
- 1 x double bivvy bag
- 1 x double sleeping bag
- Bothy Bag 2 person
- Mat (cutdown two half pieces each with a clip in point Z rest)
- 2 x 120L duffle bags for travel
- 1 x 35 - 45 L climbing pack (under 600g)
- 1 x 1L water bottle per person
- 2 x 1L bladders per person
- 1 x 1.5L piss bottle
- 1 x 10L water bladder
- 1 x pen + notebook per person
- 1 Jetboil 800ml variety (Gas bought in El Chalten)
- 1 spoon per person
- Drybags for gear at least five large ones per person. (and stashing kit at high bivvy sites)
- Sat Phone is handy for getting up to date forecasts while away in the mountains and emergencies. You can now get txt message forecasts direct to your sat phone from NOA.
- 2 person single skin tent
- 1 x spoon/cup/bowl per person
- 1 x leatherman multi tool per two people
- 1 x light climbing knife i.e. petzl knife that can attach to harness one per person
- 1 x long flexible drinking straw per person for use on route and glaciers each person, 30cm or longer.
- Lighters, gas, soap, other cooking supplies can be brought in town.
- 1 x silk sleeping bag liner per person
- 1 x sleeping bag per person (light ok for town)
- 1 x small dry bag for top of pack per person
- Stuff sack for organising clothing or a Macpac cram sack
- 1 x alpine boot mid weight. Good for ice climbing but light enough to take on rock climbs.
- 1 x pair jandles per person
- 1 x pair approach shoes per person
- 1 x spare laces for climbing boots per person
- 1 x tight fitting rock shoe per person for sport climbing in town.
- 1 x climbing shoe that can fit a mid weight sock snugly per person
- 1 x spare laces for climbing shoe per person
- Lube for boot zippers
- Wax or waterproof boots before departure
- Walking poles
Clothing: (all items for each person)
- 1 x one piece suit or thermal leggings
- 1 x wind proof soft shell pants fleece lined
- 6 x sports style underwear
- 2 x mid weight sock
- 2 x thin sock (running, approach walks)
- 1 x thick sock (Bivvy's)
- 1 x travel sock
- 1 x windshirt
- 1 x light weight down jacket
- 2 x fleece windstopper or thin leather gloves
- 2 x regular fleece light weight walking / climbing gloves
- 1 x leather glove for rapping and jummaring
- 1 x waterproof shell to go over the wind stopper gloves if it starts to rain.
- 1 x warm water proof gloves (the kind of weight you would wear for mid winter alpine ice routes)
- 1 x warm mitt is useful if going early season and doing ice routes.
- 1 x pair of light walking pants
- 1 x causal travel pants
- 2 x tee shirts causal
- 1 x small travel towel
- 1x small towel for wiping out the condensation on the inside of the tent
- 1 x sun hat with neck protection
- 2 x sun glasses with neck strap and cleaning case, nose cover could be useful
- 1 x snow googles
- 1 x thin thermol balaclava
- 1 x face mask
- 2 x short sleeve thermal shirt / sports top
- 2 x long sleeve thermal shirt / sports top
- 1 x silk or non cotton long sleeve shirt for climbing on hot days / approach walks, not for use on actual route
- 1 x wind stopper fleece jacket with a hood
- 1 x synthetic or down belay jacket with hood if possible (down is fine as well) must weigh less than 700g or a combo of thin synthetic or down say 250g and one slightly larger hooded one around 400-500g.
- 1 x light weight rain coat, must have hood big enough to go right over helmet, and be large enough to fit over all clothing
- 1 x light weight rain pants
- Shoe Gu for shoe repair
- Aqua seal for clothing repair
- Bees wax for keeping gloves and boots waterproof
- Sewing kit
- Causal in town pants
- In town warm jacket/fleece. It often ends up that you leave all your climbing gear at a high camp so its good to have a spare fleece and something like a wind shirt as spare tops for walk ins and spending time in town
General Equipment: (for each individual person)
- 1 x medium size tube of sun block
- 1 x re usable mini sun block case
- 1 x lip balm with sting so it can hang around your neck
- Baby wipes as many as you feel you need (these can be purchased in El Chalten if space is tight when packing)
- 1 x small tube of Vaseline
- 1 x personal first aid kit, you can buy basic pain medication in town, however bring any specific strong pain medication you think might be necessary plus general antibiotic.
- 1 x small bottle of detol / hand sanitiser
- 2 x rolls of dental floss
- 1 x tooth paste
- 1 x small tooth brush
- 1 x tube of mouth ulcer gel
- 1 x tube of canastine style unti fungle cream
- 1 x small travel alarm clock
- 1 x alpine climbing watch with altitude and barometer (need 1 between 2 minimum)
- 1 x compass
- 1 x area topo map (can buy El Chalten)
- 2 x head lamps and 2 sets of spare batteries
- 1 x digital camera + spare memory card if required
- Charger for digital camera
- Spare camera batteries and memory cards
- Spare batteries watch
- Spare batteries travel alarm
- Personal toiletries
- Vitamin supplements
- No power adaptors needed for Argentina as they use the same three pin plug as NZ.
- Eye patch & ear plugs for bivvys