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Kameron

[TR] Valle Aconcagua 2010: Gloria & Parva del Inca - normales 09/01/2010

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Trip: Valle Aconcagua 2010: Gloria & Parva del Inca - normales

Trip Date: 09/01/2010

Trip Report:

 

Figured I'd share some other climbs I did when I lived in Chile. These were less exciting/dangerous than Licancabur, but that's probably a good thing! Valle Aconcagua is the canyon leading into the mountains from the town of Los Andes, the same valley that takes you to Portillo and Mendoza, Argentina. Both of these peaks are north of the highway and a valley apart.

 

Cerro Gloria (Sept 2010)

The best reference for Chilean climbs is the online guidebook Andeshandbook. Here's their description of the ruta normal:

https://www.andeshandbook.org/montanismo/ruta/140/Normal

It's a chill walk-up. We approached in 1 day and climbed and retreated the next.

Good ice climbing possibilities down low. The route heads right and around the back of the peak.

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Felipe and Ramiro taking a break

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Ramiro higher up. The big, glaciated peak on the left is Nevado Juncal, and the fortress-like peak just right of it in the foreground is Alto Los Leones.

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Tilted summit shot with Aconcagua on the left

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Walking down the choss. To the right is the big cliff on the S face of Gloria

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Parva del Inca (November 2010)

This was the most technical mountain climb I did that year. There's a scramble section that we rappelled, and we had to climb some thinly covered low-angle ice past a hidden bergschrund. It's a fucking rad peak. The summit is perched above a monstrous cliff. According to Drew Tabke it's maybe been skied by someone? To get to this one you go one valley deeper towards Mendoza and head north up Estero Ojos de Agua. We did this over 3 or 4 days, with 2 to approach high camp.

https://www.andeshandbook.org/montanismo/ruta/253/Ruta_de_Hielo

The tip of the peak visible from the parking lot

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Better views higher. Like everything in the Andes, the scale is hard to comprehend.

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Sick views of Juncal and los Leones, camp 1!

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Jagged ridgeline above camp

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My best shot of the route, next morning. We would gain the glacier plateau on the shadowy left side, then pass through the rock choke and gain the left of the summit ridge, which we'd take to the summit.

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We moved camp close to the base of the peak and started on the morning of the 3rd day. Brewing up in the tent with Victor. I only this year got rid of this sweet BD Mirage tent. Good tent but too cold for the Andes.

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Looking down on Ramiro and Victor after the scramble

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We threw a rope down for Daniel, who wasn't psyched on the scramble as much.

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The crux bergshcrund crossing, pretty hard ice underneath the powdery snow. We didn't rope up mostly from ignorance about the proper techniques. I remember being pretty comfortable on the ice, probably from having hiked around in snow and in ski boots for a long time.

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Above the choke we climbed straight up until we encountered more ice, then backtracked and traversed off climber's left to the rocky ridge.

Summit! Aconcagua dominating behind.

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The valley with Portillo is the next over, but Laguna del Inca is out of sight. Big cliff right underneath the summit. You can see the highway and border facility in the distance, and of course Juncal and a bunch of other big peaks. My guess is the big one in the middle is Marmolejo, the furthest S 6000m+ peak, but I'm not sure about that. It doesn't come out in my photos, but we could barely make out the sea to the W.

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Summit register was a big book with entries going back to the 50's

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Heading back down with the homies.

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It was fairly steep cramponing in the choke

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I stepped into a crevasse and my leg went in up to my waist! Luckily it was only 6" wide or so. I was so clueless! Not roped up of course. After this find, I headed back to our uptrack. Now, I recognize it was pretty damn dangerous conditions to travel unroped... powdery 6-12" on top of some old snow just perfect for hiding the crevasses. It might have had some avy danger, too, although it hadn't snowed in a while and the powdery snow up top I think was just weak, faceted old snow.

Wish I had a picture of another axe I borrowed. It was hand-welded out of steel, with a square shaft! I think I left that at home and just brought my massive 80 cm traditional CAMP axe.

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Rappelling the rock step

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Not much I remember about the trip except that we were so late getting back to the truck that Daniel was pissed! He had a wife and kids to get to and a real job to work the next day.

Here's Daniel, Victor, and Carlos at my going-away party a month later

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Gear Notes:
axe, crampons, friends

Approach Notes:
use Andeshandbook

Edited by Kameron
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