The Petzl RocTrip Argentina has started from the 22nd of November 2012 and runs until the 25th. Part of the adventure of a Petzl RocTrip is getting there and this year's event is certainly the proof. After several days of travel, climbers from all over the world have been converging on the site of Piedra Parada in the middle of the Patagonian desert.
Climbers coming from all over the world
By the bus load, they come to take part in the climbing event of the year, with the majority of people coming from the four corners of
South America. The 11am bus from Esquel drops of twenty or so climbers from Colombia, Argentina, Uruguay, Hungary, US, Brazil and Germany. Among them, Santiago and Pelo are psyched to finally get here after 26 hours of travel from Cordoba, crossing almost half of Argentina to get to Piedra Parada.
Gabriel and Fabio, from Minas Gerias, Brazil flew to Bariloche and arrived in the ranch this morning. As they unloaded after the long ride over the dusty roads, a couple arrived in a backfiring VW bus with Chilean license plates.
The travel award surely goes to Catherine and Andrew Scott, sister and brother from South Africa, who arrived by bike. They began their peregrination in Buenos Aires, went north to Paraguay, back to Argentina through the towns of Iguazu, Salta, Cordoba and Mendoza before crossing into Chile to visit Valparaiso, Santiago, and Osorno. Once back in Argentina, they passed through Bariloche to finally arrive in the Piedra. Their four-month trip was originally meant to be a climbing trip, but Catherine injured her finger and they changed their plans and decided to pedal their way through South America until she healed. They made the RocTrip part of their voyage and they arrived just in time. You can follow their journey on their website.
The sight of the Piedra Parada and the sheer canyon walls energizes the weary travelers and after registering and checking out the guidebook, they fill up their water bottles and head out to discover the Buitrera Canyon.
In the camping zone, tents pop on the shores of the gently flowing Chubut River, which at certain times looks like the Ganges as campers bath and swim in its waters. Once in the canyon, climbers try to stay out of the burning hot sun during the long spring days. Fortunately, the layout of the canyon allows them to chase the shade. For disoriented Northern Hemisphere climbers, there is an adjustment phase: instead of looking for north-facing walls to escape the sun, shade is found on the south-facing aspects.
At the base camp, workers and volunteers are busily taking care of the final preparations: water, electricity, the stage, sound system and internet (hopefully!). Food stands selling empanadas and other Argentinian specialities and a small market with local crafts are also taking form. Everything to make the Moncada Ranch the temporary capital of climbing in Patagonia.
The Petzl Team in action
Almost all of the Petzl Team climbers have arrived and they're getting right down to business, especially in the Calavera Sector, where there is a strong concentration of hard routes. Sean Villanueva and Aymeric Clouet are projecting 'Balroc', a route they bolted last spring. The climbing is just getting started, and despite a general transportation strike in the country, more and more people descend on the Piedra...