9 Months to El Chalten

El Chalten.  4000 ft of rock, on top of a mountain, at the end of a glacier, at the southern tip of the world.  Now thats a destination.  Jimmy Voorhis and I climbed the Salathe route on El Capitan together 2 years ago.  This is the next stop.  There have been mini-missions along the way, and a whole lot of day dreaming.  Together we’ve been plotting how we make it a successful trip, assuming we get weather that lets us out of the tent.

Chris Mutzel takes the lead and Jimmy Voorhis shares the stoke on The Scoop (5.11c), Colchuck Balanced Rock, Alpine Lakes Wilderness, WA.
Chris Mutzel takes the lead and Jimmy Voorhis shares the stoke on The Scoop (5.11c), Colchuck Balanced Rock, Alpine Lakes Wilderness, WA. Photo credit: Austin Siadek

Our goal is to climb at least one route on both the Cerro Torre and the Fitz Roy massifs.  These are two very different beasts.  Jimmy and I are doing the following things to prepare (about which I will be blogging while we traveling):

  • Applying for an AAC Live Your Dream Grant
  • Testing out a peer-coaching model to keep each other motivated and focused
  • Fine-tuning skills in our respective disciplines (ice versus rock)
  • Identifying skill gaps, intermediate objectives, and focus areas during each portion of our road trip.
  • Researching routes through never-ending literature and conversations with super-psyched friends.
  • Staying healthy and fit through good nutrition and by tracking our training.

My travel begins with a trip to Chamonix, after which Jimmy will join me in the Bugaboos.  From there we’ll sample granite all the way down to Yosemite. In the Valley and the High Sierras, we’re going to be focusing on how to move light and fast.  After that we’ll head to Utah for a bit more sun, and then finally for some early season ice climbing in Bozeman before heading south.

Here is full itinerary:

1) Last Few Weeks in Washington

2) Chamonix in mid-May through early July

3) Washington, the Bugaboos and Squamish in August  

4) Yosemite Walls in October

5) Canadian Rockies in November  Due to t-shirt weather in the rockies, we went to Hyalite, The Elephants Perch, and Zion instead

6) Patagonia

Many thanks to the following folks who have generously helped me make this trip possible:
download

redd logo

download