Where do we go from the Cumbre of Guillomet? Not up, down and across.
Jim saddles up on the summit of Guillomet with the West Face of Mermoz and the upper ramparts of the North side of Fitz Roy in the background.
A quick change of leaders. Cerro Pollone, the Gran Gendarme, and the Ice Cap in the background.
Jim contemplates life.
Looking back on the West Face of Guillomet and the complex ridge terrain between the North (far left) and South (right) summits.
Nearly full moon with Guillomet below.
Two days of rest between missions is just enough time to eat, drink, and sleep as much as possible. On the third day, with the barometric pressure remaining higher than nearly the entire month of January, Neil and I hiked to a viewpoint with the binoculars and scoped the East face of Mermoz. There was a decent amount of ice on ledges and in cracks high on the Red Pillar (reportedly some of the best rock in the range). With memories of our recent 27 hour push on the Crouch-Donini, Neil confided that he was still consado (tired).
In the trailer park, our living accomadations for the month of Feb., Jim and Tim were busy packing and purchasing food for a noon departure. The mission, the first two summits of the Care Bear Traverse, or what we have begun calling, The My Little Pony Traverse. Over the next three days we managed to hike into Piedra Negra bivy, sleep for a few hours, climb the Fonrouge ridge on Guillomet in 3 hours, traverse to the Argentine route on Mermoz (approx 4 hours) and climb to the summit of Mermoz (4 more hours). We descended while a nearly full moon lit our way. Increasingly frequent clouds and gusts turned a moonlit slab of granite to a dark and cold world. We were back at Piedra Negra at 3am and asleep by 4 after consuming lots of pasta and pumpkin soup.
Today is day two of rest. It looks like there will be three days next week to put in one more effort. We are all in great shape and our motivation is tangible. My fingertips are still sensitive to heat and the cuts on my hands are healing from nearly 50 hours of contact with large, often exfoliating, granite crystals. This is the stuff dreams are made of. Pain is temporary, glory lasts forever!