Cerro las LLenas

Argentina - Posted On

One evening, in the YHI from the skiing resort of Los Penitentes where Ana, the manager, invite me for 2 nights, I meet the guides from an Israelian tourist group of girls. They convince me to intend to climb the Cerro Las LLenas, 4250m, just nearby. Alright I’ll go for it the next morning. My wing is coming with me, I never know whether or not the conditions would be alright but there’s no other way to know it than climbing it.

They assure me this would not be technical at all, so I have no hesitation by going alone. Plus I really need this kind of good kick-ass at that time.

Dawn, I am on my way, ultra light bag on my back, just my wing, water, bit of food and a few extra-clothes.

The house dog gets the wonderful idea to follow me… so stubborn that dog! With some wind at 100 km/h at the pass, he’s still walking front of me. I have to shout and even to throw him stones to make him stop, it’s really getting dangerous in the area!

That wind is really impressing, but don’t stop me, although I have good hesitations. From the pass, there is no path anymore; I have to climb rocks with snow on them.

I really think to give up but every time I see a few meters further and I can go a little bit more.

“Not technical at all”, bollocks! I have to invent my way by climbing in snowed rotten rocks.

From that time, the dog finally stops. He will be looking desperately at me for 2 hours, time for me to get to the ridge. I hear him barking, from cold, from fear for me, poor dog!

This also make me care a lot about what I am doing, hardly no one know I am here.

I am on my own in a quite dangerous spot; anything happening to me could have some heavy consequences.

At last, next to an ultimate climb, the summital ridge appears, there’s even a path after all. All is secured from now.

There I am, I made it!

And at that time appears just in front of me, huge, dominating the whole area from 3000m higher, the mythic Aconcagua, the one I was soooo willing to fly from the top, but the winter conditions forbid me from it!

But still I can now see it, staring at him, observing from where the French pilot Francois Bon did it mighty ride by speed riding the south face last year. I feel a bit jealous now.

It’s such a beautiful mountain, not just because of it high (the top of the two America), but also for the majesty it shows, surrounded by wonders of rocks and snow, so much of a wild area.

It’s a good thing to be given to observe this, absolutely alone. I feel relieved to be arrived here only by fair means, biking, sailing and climbing. The world shows its wonders more especially to those who fight for them, I’d say. Compare to the crowd of tourists who have a quick look to the mountains coming by bus and see who will get the strongest emotion…

4125m of high, the true summit is still far but really technically hard to get there on time. Wind is definitely too strong to fly, I even have difficulty to stand.

Far south , the giant volcano Tupungato culminate at about 6635m of high. One other of the giants who play around these fabulous Andes.

Taking my time, I feel myself content, truly happy in everything I have been doing so far. How wonderful is that life, isn’t it?

Those mountains give me something at that moment, I feel like rediscovering my trip from another point of view.

So far I have been going hard, quickly, challenging myself all the time. Now I want to take more my time, taking advantage of the surroundings, of what life can bring me in a more day-to-day lifestyle.

I also think how maybe taking this decision of leaving everything for such a long time could possibly have affected my relatives and close friends. Something like culpability darkens the sky.

Going down from mountains always have been a good game with my brothers. Stone field give me the occasion of a good stone riding, jumping like crazy down the steep hills. Even a bit of snow makes me bobsleighing with the bag for a few hundreds meters.

Down there I understand better the name of Los Penitentes. Huge stone arrows get high in the sky on the facing mountain.

I meet back with Ana and the worrying dog in the delicioulsly heaten YHI.

This have been my Argentinian mountain adventure, one for each country I said!