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Patagonia, one of the great wild places of the Americas, will be the subject of the March meeting of the Los Alamos Mountaineers.
Doug Shepherd, who will tell the tale, is simultaneously a sponsored athlete (Mammut, Sterling Ropes, Cilogear Backpacks) and a post doc in systems biology at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Doug writes, “Patagonia has always stood out as a far away place that I would never be able to visit, let alone climb in, because of the horrible weather. In December 2012, I took a chance and went on a two-week trip, crossing my fingers and hoping we would get to climb instead of sitting around and drinking wine. Thankfully, we had almost too much good weather, and spent the majority of our trip in the mountains.”
During those two weeks, Shepherd and Jared Vilhauer climbed the Ragni Route on Cerro Torre, traversed the Patagonia Ice Cap and attempted to climb Cerro Standhardt.
Cerro Torre was one of the highlights of his climbing career, providing an experience unlike anything else he had done. According to Shepherd, “climbing (and failing) in Patagonia is a unique experience, from the people to the mountains.”
His dual life leads to long days of work and training, interspersed with quick trips to the ranges, to climb the mountains of his dreams. Shepherd’s trips have been coined “Ninja Alpinism” by some people, because of their suddenness.
The March 20 meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. in the Great Room of Fuller Lodge. The meeting starts with trip and event announcements, etc., followed immediately by the program. The public is welcome.