Last Great Unclimbed Mountains

Heading to Chile

Well, we decided to attempt to cross the (now infamous) San Francisco Pass and head for Chile.  We had to cross the pass sometime in the next week to pick up the photographer who’s joining us for a couple of weeks (Caio) and we heard that the pass was finally open.  It has only been open for a few days since March, so we drove up there.  We stopped at the hut at 4000 metres where Pedro and I had stashed water a couple of weeks earlier, to find that someone had taken it.  That’s a pretty dangerous thing to do – thankfully we weren’t relying on it, but up in the high altitude desert, water can be a precious thing.

We carried on to the border.  Max has had some degree of trouble at this border in the past (well, he’s been arrested a few times), so we were understandably nervous.  Some of the border guys are ok, others appear to be looking to cause problems.  We hadn’t been given a piece of paper for the car when we crossed from Brazil into Argentina, which we needed, but thankfully (with a few hot exchanges of words which I couldn’t understand!) the border guys allowed us to cross.  We were lucky, they could have turned us away.

So, we were through the Argentinian border.  Now to reach the Chilean border.  It’s 120km away though!  We were supposed to drive straight through, but there’s a beautiful hut en route on the shores of a lake which had thermal springs, so we stopped for the night there.  It looks like paradise, but it’s absolutely freezing!  The lake is full of minerals which stop it from freezing over, and the wind is so fierce that waves lap the shore.


Not everyone made it…P1020295

Well, it turns out that Max and Pedro have been there lots of times, and were wusses when it came to the hot springs.  The water wasn’t actually hot, but it’s all relative, so I donned my bikini and jumped in.  I didn’t linger too long, and getting out of the warm water back into the wind nearly gave my hypothermia!


Still, we had a lovely dinner there, eating all of our fresh food, before heading for the Chilean border the following day.  The guys there were really nice, although unfortunately we had to hand over all vegetables, fruit, cheese etc, and the lovely raisins from my adventure in Chilecito.

Still, we had made it over the border, and could now head for some of the most remote mountains in the Andes.  We had picked a route, and several mountains to attempt to reach…

One Response to Heading to Chile

  • So glad you have finally started the real climbing. Your stories are hysterical! Stay safe!! Good luck!!