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Canadians Climb New Alpine Splitters in Argentina

Canadians Quentin Lindfield-Roberts, Paul McSorley, Will Stanhope and John Price travelled to Argentina recently to climb at El Nevado de Chani. After acclimatizing at elevation with some bouldering, the strong team headed into the mountains.

They made the first ascent of a buttress they called El Viejo, which means “old man” because the wall looks like an old man guarding the taller walls behind. One of the standout pitches was the splitter crack through the forehead.

“It was so wonderful to be jamming golden splitters and a perfect mellow objective for the first day,” Roberts wrote in his story for Arc’teryx’s bird blog. “On the return home, we spotted a cool looking finger crack that we vowed to return to. It turned out to be really fun, varied climbing.” They called it 54-46 Es Mi Numero 5.12.

The rock is a red granite and has a lot of splitter cracks and good edges. The second route they climbed was a spire they named Aguja Marc Andre after the late Marc Andre Leclerc. “It was so special to be able to look at these mountains and pick the finest lines we could see,” said Roberts. “Not only were the lines we looked at unclimbed, but often the spires themselves as well.”

There was a lot of rain and snow and the team didn’t get to climb as much as they wanted. Roberts finished his story with, “It’s often really hard to find this kind of adventure today. Everything is so well laid out in guidebooks or available online. We had so little idea about what was coming our way, and spent a lot of time not climbing figuring it out. In the process we met people we otherwise wouldn’t have met, saw places we wouldn’t have seen, and experienced a whole lot more than otherwise. We also still managed to put up plenty of new routes, and climb lots of new terrain in a unique part of the world. I highly recommend a trip to Chani for the well–rounded experience.

“From approaching on ancient Incan trails with guanacos running around, to sending untouched splitter granite cracks above 5,000 metres, El Nevada de Chani is well worth a visit.” Follow Roberts below on Instagram and read his full story here.

Roberts, Juho Knuuttila and Tim Banfield will be travelling to Chamlang in the Hongu Valley of Nepal in the fall of 2019. The trip is supported by the John Lauchlan Award. Read more about their objective here.