End of August

End of August

It doesn’t seem possible that I’ve been here in El Chalten for exactly six months. Initially, my plan was to stay ten months as this would span autumn winter and spring, however, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to stay for another autumn, the last one wasn’t that spectacular so if I stay till April 2016 I still have eight more months. My entire catalog of images so far amounts to no more than a half-dozen photographs. There are probably three reasons for that. One of the issues I have is that once I find a composition I cannot be content until I feel I captured a great shot. Consequently, I’ll spend a long time trying to shoot the same place time and time again.

Cascada Vienticinco de Mayo is one such example, I might have three acceptable images from there but I can’t come away from Patagonia with a handful of images from precisely the same location. So whilst I still keep going back to that cascade I’m well aware that I’ll need a rare killer shot to make me content. The weather has also played a strong role in my inability to capture new images.

As mentioned – maybe whinged is more appropriate – we’ve had very little snow. I’m told it’s the warmest and driest winter on record. My snowshoes were unused, only last week I decided to sell them. I had to take them to the city to post to a buyer and within a day of returning to El Chalten it started to snow, we had deep snow covering the mountains but the cloud cover was thick, even the low peaks were hidden. Maybe if I’d sold my camera as well as my snowshoes the conditions would be perfect.

Today as I write this it’s raining hard and the snow is fast disappearing. I must admit it’s a little demoralizing.

Moving into September I’ll be busy for maybe two weeks in Torres del Paine, a lot depends on the weather. I have a number of plans but if the conditions are as dismal as they are in El Chalten I’ll have to reconsider. October will gradually see an increase in tourism. As we move towards longer and hopefully warmer days it’s my intention to concentrate more on climbing; I don’t particularly feel the need to climb tough routes, which is just as well because I don’t have the experience. My goal is to reach the best viewpoint from where I can photograph. After my recent trip out to Piedra Negra, I can see several possibly vantage points to photograph from the west of Fitz Roy. I think doing a circuit of the mountain is quite within my grasp. The circuit of the Fitz Roy range requires crossing two glaciers and two passes each with long multi-pitch rappels. Also on the cards is a chance to access Circo de los Altares on the ice field to view the Torre Range from the west. Several other peaks and adventures are planned so I must keep upbeat.

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