So the “guess my vert” competition has come and gone. How did the week go for me? Well it began in Valle Nevado, with high elevation and no snow, so the vertical was challenging due to the 12000 foot air after hanging on a beach, 7300 feet by 3pm and then an 8 hour drive to Las Trancas,. The next day we went up and sumitted Volcan Nuevo and Jesse enjoyed her first volcano, I then skied two more runs and climbed 10 860 ft. I woke up the next day and was in the grasp of a flu, so managed to tour 6000 feet and bring Jesse to the Hotsprings. Then next day I was feeling somewhat better and toured 10500, up the Volcano a few times, with 2 laps in a complete whiteout. Finally I was feeling even better and skied up and down the East side, enjoying some spring corn and lapping it up a bit for 11440 feet. The next day it was cloudy and I went up and ran in 6240 feet, and drove 4 hours down to Antuco, The 7th day I woke up and it was poring rain and blowing like mad, so day off. Total for the 7 days….. 52340. decent, not exceptional but above average and with a day off.
Today we headed up to Sierra Velluda, with a new partner Donny. Donny runs alpineambitions and has been coming down here for years. Velluda has been high on his list and with his ambition we headed up and looked to see if there was a way to the summit. It was a gorgeous windless day and the touring was great. Hot though, so hot that Jesse dropped the pants and toured in her “booty” shorts. Eventually we were rewarded with a view of SE side of the summit and there was in fact a line from the summit. It looked sick, super steep, freshly snow covered and waiting for a “first”. As we got closer it looked more and more exposed, the final thousand feet was steep and required some real commitment. As we got closer we noticed a few warnings that had to be listened to. Two deep slabs had pulled out on the bottom of the same aspect we were hoping to climb up. Wanting to go past it we went and assessed and realized that the two slabs had pulled out within the last 18 hours, on two separate incidents. It was hard to turn when we were so close but there are many more summits and days ahead so we pulled skins and shredded down.
On the way Donny spotted two condors sitting on a rock and we skied over and watched them for a bit, and then they flew off and we skied down. So great to check out this area, when I first saw this mountain 3 months ago I knew I needed to have a closer look. We may return tomorrow and look at another option or we may ski off Antuco Volcano and call it good. Who knows?