Desert Vibes

Desert Vibes
Photo: Ben Clark

Monday, March 11, 2013

From Bariloche to El Fin del Mundo with a Few Stops Along the Way

I just realized a few days ago while Skyping with my parents that I haven't posted new photos on here in a while. So, without me rambling on for too long here are some photos from the rest of my time in Bariloche/Frey, driving down Ruta 40, El Chalten, and Ushuaia...

Got a pretty sweet tan at Frey, but carrying a 30+ kilo backpack with a little bit of dry skin on my upper shoulders ruined that :)

Bife de Chorizo at El Boliche de Alberto in Bariloche, Argentina

Sunset at Frey

Sunset at Bariloche

Typical trail around Frey. Essentially no difference between the trails and just making your own way up the mountains. So, I pretty much just explored the mountains around Frey to see where I could get without a rope. Found some pretty sweet ridgeline traverses and got to the top of Catedral Sur.

Laguna Schmoll in the basin above Frey

A short section of trail leading from the ski lift at the top of the mountain to the beginning of an easy traverse to get to Frey.

Refugio Frey down at the bottom. It takes me about 10 minutes to leave the Refugio, scramble up the mountain, and get to the point where the photo was taken.

View of Tronodor on the way up Catedral Sur

Laguna Schmoll in the background. The headwrap and sunglasses aren't for the cold and sun. They're for the wind.

Piedra Parada (big rock in the middle) on the way to El Chalten. There is a nice little canyon here some sport climbing routes that would be a blast if I liked sport climbing.

Layout of Piedra Parada

Circle of Life in the Patagonian desert

Asado in Piedra Parada.
 
Laying in a hammock and dreaming.

Ruta 40 is almost worse than Kansas...Almost...


View as you head West out of El Chalten towards Lago del Desierto

Laguna Torre with Cerro Torre in the backdrop.

Fitz Roy massif with Laguna de los Tres.

The best part about rainy days in El Chalten.

View from Mirador  Loma del Pliegue Tumbado before I traversed the ridgeline to a mountain pass that gave me access to a laguna below.

Laguna de los Tres again. Bluest water I've ever seen.

View from Glaciar Martial looking down towards Ushuaia


Another view of Ushuaia from Glaciar Martial

Looking up at Glaciar Martial

Beagle Channel from the waterfront in Ushuaia

Beagle Channel

A nice sturdy bridge in Ushuaia on the way down from Paso de la Oveja

Finally above treeline on my way to Paso de la Oveja

Crossing into the National Park on my way to Paso de la Oveja

This photo looks weird, but the vegetation really was that bright shade of green.

Paso de la Oveja in Ushuaia. Had a little bit of snow and some frigid winds up there.

The reason why I was so happy to get above treeline on the ascent to Paso de la Oveja. Downed trees EVERYWHERE...

A short reprieve from the downed trees on the way to Paso de la Oveja. One of the few sections of runnable trail below treeline.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

2013 Races and Runs


Here’s a little list of the runs and races I’ve decided on for 2013:

·         3/18—Circuito de Dientes de Navarino—54 Kilometers—Puerto Williams, Chile
·         5/11—Quad Rock—50 Miles—Fort Collins, CO (Registered)
·         6/29—Black Hills 100—100 Miles—Sturgis, SD (Registered)
·         8/10—TRAD Telluride Mountain Run—38 Miles—Telluride, CO
·         9/13—Run Rabbit Run—100 Miles—Steamboat Springs, CO
·         10/??—Rim2Rim2Rim—43 Miles—Grand Canyon, AZ
·         11/2—Ozark Trail Endurance Run—100 Miles—Steelville, MO

                                            
After a rather disappointing 2012 I decided to quit work and travel around South America for a bit. The original plan was to travel for about a year or so, run some big circuits, and find races along the way. Turns out that finding races down here isn’t so easy. All of the races I’ve found so far are either short (less than 30 kilometers) with not very many runners or multi-day stage races organized by Americans and Europeans that cost thousands of dollars. Neither of these appeals much to me. 

One thing the multi-hour deep-south Patagonian slogs have given me (other than amazing views) is plenty of time to think. So, I’ve decided to come back to Colorado, maintain my (f)unemployment status at least until the end of racing season, and see what I can do this year. Hopefully 2013 is the year of redemption for me. Who knows? At the very least I’ll have one blissful summer in the mountains of Colorado without the pesky annoyance of waking every day to waste 8+ hours in a cubicle longingly gazing at the Flatirons during the few chances I have to escape the office for a meager walk around the building. 

I’ve decided on the Black Hills 100 in South Dakota to hopefully be my first 100 finish. Lots of rollers and the possibility of temperatures in the 90’s have me likely not going into the race with any goals other than to just finish the damn thing. It seems to me that I need to get over the hump of finishing my first 100 then start raising the bar on my goals for those races. We’ll see…

Anyways, should be a great year!


I miss Green Mountain
I miss me being on Green Mountain

I miss Twin Lakes

I miss the Flatirons

I miss the cruiser singletrack around Frisco

I miss Turquoise Lake

I miss the Indian Peaks Wilderness

I miss the Columbines
I miss El Taco Blanco (Photo by Rob Timko)
 There's lots of other things about Colorado that I miss (like great beer and meals that are a little more involved than beef with a side of beef), but the above photos should give you a little idea of why I'm excited to spend the summer back home in the mountains. See you all soon!