What Lies Ahead: Piritas Valley Expedition

While it has been calm last two months as far as adventuring goes, it is just the calm before the storm. Currently, I am preparing for what will be the most serious adventure I have yet to undertake. Below you will find some insight as to what’s coming up next.

Piritas Valley Trip Overview

Objective:  The primary objective of this expedition will be to travel to and climb in the seldom visited Piritas Valley, located in Northern Patagonia, Argentina. Ideally, my partner and I would like to establish a new rock climbing route on the central pillar of the 2,800 ft (850 m) tall, tri-summited, granite wall that makes up the Piritas Range.

The Piritas Range Photo by Dave Anderson

The Piritas Range
Photo by Dave Anderson

Our secondary objective will be to travel south, to the Chalten Massif, located in the heart of Patagonia, with the goal of attempting to climb some of the already established moderate alpine climbing routes.

History:  So far, there are only five recorded expeditions into the Piritas range in which seven routes we established. Only one of those seven climbs the central pillar. The first climbing expedition into the Piritas Valley was done by two Argentine climbers in 2006, at which time they climbed the one and only route on the central pillar.

Duration:  Approximately 75 days

Jan 5th, Travel from Finland to Río Gallegos, Argentina

March 20th, Return to Finland from an overnight layover in Madrid, Spain

Basic Outline of Expedition:

Day 01-02 Fly from Finland to Río Gallegos, Argentina.

Day 03: Travel north from Río Gallegos to Bariloche, Argentina, via an 18 hour bus ride.

Days 04-20: Climb in the Frey climbing area (near Bariloche).

Day 21: Travel to the town of Lago Puelo, the nearest town to the Piritas Valley.

Day 22: Take a Ferry across lake Lago Puelo to the entrance of Lago Puelo National Park.

Day 23-25: Travel with gauchos, via horseback, up the Rio Turbino (Turbino River) until we reach the confluence where the four smaller rivers join together to make the Rio Turbino.

Day 25-28: Bushwack our way up one of the smaller valleys until we reach the Piritas range, where we will establish our basecamp.

Day 29-50: Attempt to climb in the Piritas Range as much as possible. Attempt to establish a new route and repeat previous climbs.

Day 51-52: Break down and descend from base camp to the confluence.

Day 53-54: Raft down the Rio Turbino and back to Lago Puelo.

Day 55-56: Rest, recover, and travel south, once again, to the El Chalten area.

Day 57-73: Climb as much as possible in the El Chalten region.

Day 73-75: Travel Home.

Team: The team will consist of Tess Ferguson and myself.

Expedition coverage:  Words, photos, videos, and dispatches from the field can be found at the following locations;







American Alpine Club – Tess and I are both extremely grateful to be two of the recipients of the 2015 Mountaineering Fellowship Grant, awarded to encourage “American climbers age 25 years and younger to go into remote areas and seek out climbs more difficult than they might ordinarily be able to do.” Yup, that sounds like us.

Knoms – Thank you for providing us with a trip’s worth of delicious, sustainable, healthy energy. Your bars, fruit straps, and nibs are sure power us through when the going gets tough.

5 thoughts on “What Lies Ahead: Piritas Valley Expedition

  1. Pingback: The time is (almost) now. | Adventures of Alan G.

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