Thursday, January 3, 2013


For Jon's last window this season in Patagonia, we hiked back up to Niponino on the last day of 2012, both with lingering colds. On the first day of 2013 we left Niponino early and headed to the Standhardt Col to try "Festerville," the north ridge of Cerro Standhardt, first climbed by Timmy O'Neil and Nathan Martin. After a lot of climbing in crampons over the past few weeks, it was nice to switch to rock shoes for a route, and we were both very impressed by the quality of climbing on Festerville. Jon is a purist, so we didn't bring jumars and tried to free-climb every pitch. This for sure made us slower, but I have to admit it was fun at times to genuinely "try," just as if on a pitch back in Squamish. We topped out in the late evening, as usual finished the rappels early in the morning, and after a nap in Niponino hiked back to town. Festerville is definitely a route I would recommend!

Jon at the start of Festerville, with the Standhardt Col behind:

Jon low on Festerville, with Cerro Rincon and Cerro Domo Blanco in the background:

Jon on the third pitch, which reminded me of "High Plains Drifter" back in Squamish:

Jon coming up the fourth pitch, which was reminiscent of the "Roman Chimneys" back in Squamish:

Jon on the fifth pitch, which, despite not being particularly difficult, I thought was the best pitch on the route:

Nice rock on Festerville, with Fitz Roy and Aguja Poincenot behind:

Jon climbing immaculate rock, about half-way up Festerville:

Jon higher up on Festerville, with the Ice Cap in the background:

Looking to the north from the junction with Exocet:

Jon on the summit of Cerro Standhardt:

Looking south at the north faces of Torre Egger and Cerro Torre:

Mandatory cheesy summit photo!

We arrived back in town to find a bunch of newly-arrived gringos. I ran into Kelly Cordes on the street as he was looking for "empanadas and vodka," and he joined the sausage-fest back at our apartment: