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Patagonia Argentina ski: Gorra Blanca, Fitzroy (Fitz Roy), Cerro Lautaro
Turns All Year: Previous Home Page Galleries
This is a gallery of Patagonia Argentina ski photos which appeared on the Turns All Year home page in the past. Thumbnail images on this page can be clicked to view the full-sized photos, and lead into a slide show sequence for the gallery. The photos are from a backcountry ski trip to Los Glaciares National Park, in the region of Patagonia Argentina. Great weather, awesome views of the Fitzroy (Fitz Roy) range including Cerro Torre, and a summit ski on Gorra Blanca (2907m).
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Turns All Year CD-ROM

The complete version of this photo gallery is now available on Turns All Year CD-ROM. Below you can view thumbnail photos from this gallery.

Turns All Year CD-ROM contains over 180 photo galleries, containing more than 3200 full-sized photos, from backcountry skiing and snowboarding trips in the Pacific Northwest.

from February 21, 2005:
Skiing Los Glaciares National Park, Patagonia, Argentina,
October-November, 2004, part 2 of 2:
Days 9-11: Gorra Blanca summit, Fitzroy views, the trip out


Continued from previous gallery: Days 1-8: the trip in, Gorra Blanca saddle, Fitz Roy views

Skiing route on Gorra Blanca
Ski route on Gorra Blanca
Erik leads with Cerro Ilse and Gorra Blanca
Erik leads with Cerro
Ilse and Gorra Blanca
Wolfgang, Erik, and the awesome Fitzroy range
Wolfgang, Erik, and the
awesome Fitzroy range
Wolfgang leads up Cerro Gorra Blanca
Wolfgang leads up
Cerro Gorra Blanca
Silas, Wolfgang, and the North Pillar of Fitz Roy
Silas, Wolfgang, and the
North Pillar of Fitz Roy
Lunch stop below Gorra Blanca's south ridge
Lunch stop below Gorra
Blanca's south ridge
Looking NW to Cerro Lautaro
Looking NW to Cerro Lautaro
Looking SW to Cordon Mariano Moreno
Looking SW to
Cordon Mariano Moreno
Toward the White Cap (Gorra Blanca)
Toward the White
Cap (Gorra Blanca)
Erik enjoying perfect styrofoam snow
Erik enjoying perfect
styrofoam snow
Breaking through the sastrugi and windslab
Breaking through the
sastrugi and windslab
Looking south to Lago Viedma and Fitzroy
Looking south to Lago
Viedma and Fitzroy
Approaching the final slopes of Gorra Blanca
Approaching the final
slopes of Gorra Blanca
The perfect day: Fitz Roy range
The perfect day:
Fitz Roy range
The final steps to Cerro Gorra Blanca
The final steps to
Cerro Gorra Blanca
Summit view NW to Cerro Lautaro
Summit view NW
to Cerro Lautaro
Morning light on Fitzroy range
Morning light on Fitzroy range
Erik hauling on the way out
Erik hauling on the way out
Fitz Roy to Cerro Torre
Fitz Roy to Cerro Torre
Cordon Marconi on the way out
Cordon Marconi
on the way out
Glaciar Marconi and Piergiorgio
Glaciar Marconi
and Piergiorgio
South slopes of Paso Marconi
South slopes of Paso Marconi
Evening light on Fitzroy peaks
Evening light on Fitzroy peaks
Erik headed out past Fitz Roy
Erik headed out past Fitz Roy
Too much gear, too little cord
Too much gear, too little cord
Piedra del Fraile
Piedra del Fraile
Beech forest final view
Beech forest final view

Photos by Erik Berg and Silas Wild


Erik has photos available for purchase: Patagonia high quality photographic prints



Continued from the previous photo gallery:
Days 1-8: the trip in, Gorra Blanca saddle, Fitz Roy views


Backcountry ski trip report:
Skiing in Los Glaciares National Park, Patagonia, Argentina,
October-November, 2004, part 2 of 2: Days 9-11

   Despite my concerns, we woke on November 3 to another beautiful day, perhaps even better than the day before. Barometric pressure had stayed high, wind was calm, and skies clear. We left the hut at the leisurely hour of 8AM, glided half a mile to our low point for the day, and began skinning in six inches of Patagonian powder snow.
   Switching leads, shedding clothes, and sharing the camera, we gained 3000' over the next three hours enjoying better and better views in the warm sun. Near the gap between Cerro Ilse and Gorra Blanca we put on the rope and decided to make a long traverse rather than trying a direct route to the summit which might not have as good skiing on our descent. After another hour we took a short lunch break on the flat edge of a deep crevasse before climbing the final thousand feet to the col between the summits of Gorra Blanca.
   We left our skis at the col, took off the rope, and put on crampons for the potentially icy conditions we expected on the gentle ridge walk to the summit. Fifteen minutes along the way, Silas heard Erik yelling for help. He turned around to see Erik chest deep in a hidden crevasse that supported little Silas just fine but not the extra 30 pounds of big Erik. He carefully returned and gave Erik an ice axe belay out of the crevasse that had no visible bottom, and the team prudently decided to rope up again.
   The ridge walk, though beautiful and spectacular, was tiring due to variable conditions of breakable sastrugi and deep powder pockets interrupting the easy going on hard icy crust. At 4:30PM we had a pow wow to decide a turn around time, and fortunately the apparent difficulties ahead turned out to be simple. We arrived at the summit at 5:30, snapped a panorama of photos, and headed back to our ski cache, now looking directly at the Fitzroy range in perfect afternoon light. We could see a hundred miles south and half of that north on the great Southern Patagonian Icecap, largest in the world outside Antarctica and Greenland.
   We drooled over views of Cerro Moreno and Cerro Lautaro, twenty miles away, with their apparent skiing potential for future trips. Once back at our cache, we shed the rope, skied a thousand feet in the sun warmed powder and glided the long traverse. Then Wolfgang showed us the benefit of randonee boots and 68 years of ski experience on the beautiful run back to our low point. The wind had picked up and unfortunately a sun crust had formed on the slope so the skiing was not as great as the scenery.
    Returning to the hut required an hour of skinning into the wind and icefog, but that was a small price to pay for such a perfect day. A pink pillow covered Gorra Blanca at sunset.
   Morning dawned beautiful again, we lounged over breakfast in the hut, decided to skip the two day round trip to the western base of Cerro Torre because the weather could not stay perfect much longer, loaded our sleds, and began the glide across Paso Marconi just after the crack of noon. Down from the pass, past our snow cave, the ski run was good for Wolfie, but Erik and I had the sleds to guide. Wolf made beautiful turns in the sun warmed crust, I plunged stepped trying to control my load and temper, and Erik just bellowed and let his sled run free to the flats.
   At the end of the snow we loaded skis and sleds on our already heavy packs and trudged the next two hours over the moraine to our beach camp where we enjoyed another fine sunset. The next day was bright and clear and we had more ho hum world class views of sunrise on the North Face of Fitzroy as we hiked two hours out to Fraile camp and trees again. A two hour lunch break and two hours soft hiking in the forest brought us back to the road and the end of our excellent adventure.
   A few days rest at a friend's small hotel and then Erik was off to Portland to pay for the next trip. I visited my old friend the Perito Moreno Glacier, ate a few celebratory steak dinners, and flew on to Bariloche for some new Patagonian exploration by car with Wolf. We put the final exclamation point on our trip with a long perfect butter ski run from Cerro Tronador, and now are dreaming of the next visit.
    Silas

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Photos ©2004 Erik Berg and Silas Wild  (copyright info here)
Photos used with permission
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