June 2021, short days in Patagonia, no tourism, darkness and lots weird thoughts about the future of Argentinian tourism economy, friends and family struggling with Covid. Poverty rises 45% by the end of 2020. Borders closed, hard to leave the country…. In less than one week decided to pack all gear. UK stills closed to go to Europe, USA citizens could not travel to Europe easily. France requires quarantine and Switzerland only 5 days… Future did not seem that clear at the beginning of summer in the Alps.
Anyway, bought my ticket, emailed all agencies that I knew and in less than 2 weeks completed my season with some of dream guided jobs. As a IFMGA guide it is a big dream and challenge to be able to guide in the Alps coming from a southern region like Patagonia. Just feel a bit as a Gaston Rebuffat did back in the day 🙂 . As teenager we read the books “Estrellas y Borrascas”, “Montagnes de una Vie” from Bonatti and “Conquerors of Useless” of Terray, learning the mountains were strange places only for superheroes and super athletes. So I thought they were impossible dreams to guide this mountains. Living in Argentina and dedicating myself to ski guiding was not easy to find the time to be in July and August in the Alps. So thanks to Covid this door was open. “When one door closes many more opens” says Bob Marley 🙂
For years wanted to spent a full summer guiding in the Alps to do some of the classic 4000’s and try Matterhorn, the dreamed jewell of every Mountain Guide. Feels like playing the Final on “Futbol” World cup. Pressure from the local Zermatt guides, times to reach to Solvey , times to get the train… you name it! full game! and not easy, exposed, rock fall. Big admiration for guides that do it in daily basis. We got to the shoulder, clients was challenged over its limits. But was a nice try!
So, besides earning few $ this season, was very dreamy to guide all this aretes with short rope and explore the very well known peaks of the Alps.
Guided Mont Blanc few times this summer, even though did it in the past with Helicopter from Pitons des Italiens, from Grand Mullet and linking “the trois Monts route” in the past was nice to do it in full summer session. Few of the trips: Nice arete of West face of Dufourspitze, then some other classics of Zermatt area. Some Monterosa classic 4000’s. Also attempt to Matterhorn with Scottish client.
Well leave you some pictures that says more of 1000 boring words!