Feb
20
2009
0

The Local Scene

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Two weeks in Chalten and the storm up in the mountains rages on. Every climber in town is overfed and charged on coffee mate, waiting for the weather gods to smile and chattering endlessly about a potential dry window this weekend. In the meantime, we continue to fester in style – bouldering, noshing, and dancing the night away. It’s a great opportunity to get to know the cool local people (with their wonderful doggies) and meet up with friends from around the world who have converged on this little town for a shot at summit glory. It’s a who’s who of badass alpine climbers: Mikey Schaeffer and Kate Rutherford are here, as well as Chad Shepard, John Gleason, artist Jeremy Collins (who has been teaming up with Renan on a big simul-painting) and we hear that Nicolas Favresse, Sean Villanueva, Ben Ditto and friends just pulled into town following their send of the Central Tower of Paine and ready to crush something over here. We’ve been hanging at the boulders with Tommy Caldwell and Josh Wharton a bunch. And of course the regulars are here: Rolando Garibotti, Kevin Thaw, and Bean Bowers are generously sharing their sage wisdom with the newbies. Last but not least, shooter Tim Kemple rolled in on the scene and has joined our crew. We go up into the mountains tomorrow. Wish us luck.

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Fitzroy veiled…for now

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Renan and Jeremy Collins work their simul-painting

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Our neighbor, Rolando Garibotti

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Keep up with Vertical Carnival Dispatch:
http://verticalcarnival.blogspot.com

Written by Nick in: General |
Feb
16
2009
0

Valentine’s Day

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When Bean Bowers looked at the computer models his jaw dropped. Years ago he built a house down here and tacked a sign on the front that boasted “World’s Worst Weather.” But in all his days of storm watching, the veteran Patagonia climber swore he had never seen a prediction this bad.

Alas, that forecast was heartbreakingly spot-on. We’ve been down here a week, and each day raises the bar for rainy, windy crapola. Even the town El Chalten, usually basking in the cozy rain shadow of the Fitzroy Range, is now drenched to the last moldy sheepdog. Yesterday, moved by desperation more than logic, we hiked up into the park to stash our gear at the glacier. Bad idea jeans. We got the big soak (the cameras survived, gracias a dios) with nary a glimpse of the rock, and hiked down with rainwater sponging from our toes.

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It was a slightly heartbreaking day, but this morning we awoke to El Dia del Los Amadores, and the jangly internet connection eventually spat out a truly wonderful e-Valentine from Cedar’s friend in China.

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And the love continued that evening as Bean and Helen tied the knot in a blaze of cumbia at the Chocolateria. Even in the cold embrace of the world’s worst weather, el amor vence.

Keep up with the Vertical Carnival Video Blog at:
http://verticalcarnival.blogspot.com

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Written by Nick in: General |
Feb
10
2009
0

El Chalten

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We arrive in Patagonia to clear skies, and the hope that we will catch a window of good weather for climbing down here. But the wind soon picks up and that fleeting sense of optimism is blown away as big clouds invade the Fitzroy massif. We meet up with local hardman Bean Bowers, who informs us that the forecast is an epic storm. Fortunately, the funky town of El Chalten is protected in a rain shadow, and has some of the best bouldering this side of the Equator.

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Written by Nick in: General |
Feb
10
2009
0

Express to Patagonia

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The lovely woman in the photo above is Roberta Nunes. She was a legendary and beloved climber who tragically died in 2006. In her honor, we have formed an expedition to South America with climbing trio Cedar Wright, Renan Ozturk and Sean “Stanley” Leary — who was Roberta’s friend, lover and soulmate in the last years of her brilliant life.

The objective of our trip is to fulfill a timely promise Stanley made to Roberta only days before she passed away: That if she were to die one day, Sean would cast her ashes in two places: her homeland of Brazil, and amongst the granite peaks of Patagonia, which inspired Roberta like no other region. Along the way, we will attempt new routes in her honor, film the journey, and wrap the whole thing into a cool TV episode for National Geographic International that will share Roberta’s spirit with millions of people around the world.

So we are off, first on a hectic beeline to the southern reaches of Argentina, which looks and feels and pretty much is the end of the Earth. God damn it’s beautiful. We can see why she liked it here.

You can also follow the action on Renan’s stellar video dispatch blog at: http://verticalcarnival.blogspot.com

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Written by Nick in: General |

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