Well, it’s official. One of my best friends and old climbing partner, Beckett “The Dragon” Honiker, just bought a ticket to meet us in Northern Patagonia at the end of January. Our mission is to attempt a couple of big walls in February.
(Throwback photo, Yosemite 8 years ago)
So, shit just got real.
This little bro is not flying half way around the world just to go hiking. To keep up with this kid in Patagonia, I’m going to need to be fit enough to climb for up to 24 hours straight on fairly challenging vertical rock routes up to around 3000 feet in height, or about the size of El Capitan in Yosemite. The routes are remote and most likely have arduous approaches. I’ve got 4 and a half months to prepare.
My exercise routine just went from “working out” to “FULL ON TRAINING”!
Fortunately we’re posted up here in Mendoza, which is turning out to be a great place to train. I went solo to the local climbing area and within a day was able to hand pick a great partner for the next 4 months.
Fernando is just finishing up his 2 year mountain guiding school, after which he’ll go to work as a guide on Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the Americas. Until he graduates, he has nothing to do but climb, and he’s motivated. Perfect partner for me.
On a side note, Stevie loves busting my balls about the age of my friends. I keep getting older, but they all seem to stay about 22 years old. I guess she’s right. Where did all the old men go?
I’ve got to say this about Argentina… this country seems to have some of the coolest people we’ve ever met. By cool, I mean real deal Rock-Star cool. They are so cool, they don’t even know it, which of course ups the cool factor 2x.
Stevie keeps mentioning to me that Argentina is a place she could live long term. HA! I don’t think so. I dig it, but my daughter has to learn spanish in an accent that I can at least understand!
Anyway, speaking of climbing, Sol has gone completely mental for climbing stairs. It’s all she wants to do. The other day in our hostel she climbed the stairs FIFTEEN times.
She’d book it to the top, then scream, I’d run her back to the bottom, and she’d do it again. Like I said, mental.
And now she’s searching out summits. The other night we were at the Hyatt hotel hitting up their wine bar. As I rolled the stroller past this enormous staircase, Sol freaked out. Of course I had to let her at ’em…
There are certain rules to this game. I can spot her, but I’m not allowed to help or touch her. If I do, I get screamed at. When she gets to the top, I am supposed to run her back to the bottom, or I get screamed at. I really don’t mind. I love to see her stoked.
She put in 6 laps on this route.
I swear, I fall more in love with this crazy little girl every day.
In other news, we’ve been out apartment hunting for the last 2 weeks and we finally found a place. If all goes well, we’ll be moving in on Monday. We’re all really stoked to unload the van and sprawl out for a couple of months. It’s been a very long stretch since we left Lima, Peru. Too many hostels to count.
I am concerned that Sol may go into shell shock though. She’s used to being surrounded by lots of people, and LOTS of action!
The crew at the Banana have started calling her ‘Loca’, a nickname that I think fits her very, very well. She parties as hard as anyone there.
They’re gonna be sad to see her go, but at least we’ll continue seeing Ari. She’s agreed to come to the apartment to watch Sol for as long as we’re in Mendoza. Totally lucking out here. This girl rocks.
So, we’re settling in nicely in Mendoza. We’ve got an apartment, a nanny, great climbing, and we’ve been making lots of new friends.
Below, kicking it with our new buds, Ryan and Tiffany Nice…
These guys are from Seattle, but are living in Mendoza and are working for The Vines. It’s nice to be able to hang out and speak uninterrupted english with generational references (think Footloose and Saturday Night Live) for an evening, plus these guys are tons of fun!
The more wine we drink with these cats, the more plans get made. So far Stevie and Tiffany have signed up for tennis lessons, and Ryan and I have been roped into Tango lessons. I’m gonna need a lot more wine for that night.
That’s the update from sunny South America. Just keepin it real.
Carry on – TREE