El Chaltén – Closing the Circuit at Cerro Electrico

Speaking in golfers language this would be called a “Hole-in-one”! Originally planed as two separated skitours we combined them and pushed the limits more far than we ever thought to be able to. An early start allowed us to bootpack the first 700 verticals following a steep, rocky gully in convenient temps. Skinning up the remaining 1000m to the summit of Cerro Electrico 2150m felt like recreational activity after the bootpack. As usual we arrived in no time at this exposed summit with perfect views including Fitz Roy and the Hielo Continental. The turns on the nicely sloped glacier underneath the summit were a warm-up for something we had been aiming for a long time: A steep, SE-facing couloir that leads straight down to the Glaciar Piedras Blancas some 700m below… With perfect powder in the upper part, a Bergschrund, some scenic Séracs and everything witnessed by mighty Fitz, this was truly a memorable ride! The Glaciar has an impressive sérac-zone, which allowed us to cross only on a narrow corridor with hardly visible lateral-crevasses. Ascending roped-on with much caution was absolutely necessary. When we arrived at Paso Guillaumet the total vertical count was on 2600m and we began to suffer from hunger and thirst but thanks to the bivy-equipment we carried with us we were able to melt some snow and refill our batteries. Almost fully recovered we gained some more verticals in order to ski the Glacier and traverse to Paso Superior. The descent turned out as very tricky as we had to navigate through some hardly visible séracs. Following the base of Fitz Roy and its accompanying Aiguilles felt like a dream-journey and when we arrived at Paso Superior, we decided to set up the bivy right there with a view that can be summarized as incredible! After some Pasta and Rice we crawled in our sleeping bags while watching the stars and sky.

Shortly before the sun was supposed to rise we woke up in order to enjoy the dawn of the day. So far the plan… During the night clouds rolled in and didn’t allow the sun to break through. Nevertheless Fitz got a glance of red for some seconds while the horizon glowed in intense colors. Fog crept slowly up and made us to leave our bivy. The descent to Rio Blanco wasn’t that enjoyable anymore but after we’ve arrived back at our car, we knew that we pushed the limits while we plunged ourselves in one of the most spectacular mountain ranges. That’s quite something!!!

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