January 2014

I climbed Cerro Vespignani in 2014.  It was during an amazing 10-week trip I did South America.  A journey through Argentina, Chile, Peru, Colombia and Brazil doing the first 3000miles on my BMW F800 GS Adventure.

We left the motorbike in Bariloche, a city in Argentina, situated at the foothills of the Andes.  From there we flew South to El Calafate International Airport and from there drove to El Chaltén 4 hours away.

El Chaltén is a beautiful, small mountain village and the gateway to the famous Cerro Torre and Cerro Fitz Roy mountains.

It’s a popular base for hiking and named as Argentina’s Trekking Capital.  I loved it there!

The Climb

With such a tight schedule we didn’t have time to wait for a weather window or time to acclimatise.  Luck was on our side though, the weather was looking good and only being 2,200m we didn’t need to acclimatise.

Cerro Vespignani can be climbed in a day and has a reputation of being the best peak in the area for its magnificient views of the South Patagonian Ice Field.  The plan was I would head up there with Leonardo Proverbio, a mountain guide from Bariloche.  Leo was really funny.  He was a gret person to climb with.  As much as he was a joker, he was also incredibly strong and very experienced.  Leo, myself and Ken, our camera guy, did the climb.

It was a 4am start.  The climb is not overly technical with forests, lakes, snow, glaciers, serac and many other surfaces that must be covered in order to reach to the top.  I loved the climb.  We needed ice axes and crampons and were able to hire them from one of the many kit shops in El Chaltén.

It was a fairly tough day having spent the previous few weeks mostly riding a motorbike, but it was great.  We reached the summit and had awesome views of Fitz Roy mount, the Lake of The Desert and the ice fields.  I was so excited to have done a climb in Patagonia… and I would dearly love to return there and do more.