Route 7 - Carretera Austral... patagonia on fire!

The beautiful B&B Patagonia House in Coyhaique, my home for several days.

Patagonia house guard dogs.

The green valley of Coyhaique, Chile.

My poor bag and all I have left for clothes!

Yes, cotton burns fast! especially Patagonia Organic!

well at least my burnt bag turned into a good costume of some kind?

Rippio road of Carretera Austral with ocean inlet near Puyuhuapi.

Like a devil's club, but even bigger... you can eat it, sweet taste, like a rhubarb. I've seen some that could cover my hole bike.

Watch out!!! might go over the bars with steep hills like this... turned out to be less the 3% steep.

Dead valley after toxic ashes killed all the trees.
Near Chaiten.

The ChaitĂ©n volcano ( Michinmahuida) entered a new eruptive phase for the first time in about 9,500 years on the morning of May 2, 2008. The entire town of Chaiten got covered with ashes. By the afternoon of May 3, ash from the eruption had spread across Chile and Argentina to the Atlantic Ocean, contaminating water supplies, and coating the town of FutaleufĂș located 75 kilometres southeast to a depth of 30 centimetres. Today the volcano is still erupting. It was like coming into a ghost town, riding on nothing but meter deep ashes in some parts of the town. Some homes were half way buried.
Now approx 500 people have come back to make their homes. But it is still a health hazard to live here because of the toxic ashes. The Ferry still runs to Chiloe island or Puerto Montt.
My plan was to take the Ferry to Puerto Montt, or continue riding north with several ferries along route 7, that was out of question since the road was now gone. So ferry it was, but when I came to make a reservation, it was all full. So I had no choice but to make my way to Quellon Chiloe the next day. I had to wait a hole day in this ghost town, with minimum food to buy and camping at the local soccer field with other travelers also waiting for the ferry. The next morning I got on the 4 hour ferry and was happy to leave Chaiten.

The ghost town of Chaiten and sunset hitting the fumes of the Volcano.

Amazing sunset in Chaiten.

Volcan Corcovado - 2300 meters.

colorful shacks over water in Chiloe island, Chile.

On the ferry to Puerto Montt.

Volcan Orsono - 2652 meters.

Sunset from camp on Lago LLanquihue at the base of Volcan Orsono.

Moon over Volcan Orsono, Chile.

Riding along the Lago LLanquihue from Puerto Varas to Entre Lagos with incredible scenery.

Beautiful waterfall near Argentinean border.

New climbing zone - Chile Chico

While driving back from a climbing trip in Bariloche, Jim Donini and Jay Smith had spotted this " Pyramide" Basalt tower. They spent a few days putting up new routes. So when I arrived at Jim's house. He had several plans up his sleeves... going back up there and climb new routes.
A couple of Aussie friends joined us and we hiked in the 2 hour approach loaded with cams, ropes and food, camped for a couple nights in this beautiful meadow in the Jeinemeni Range.
As to date, there are 9 new routes, the best line being a 4 pitch climb done by Jay Smith and Jim Turner rated 5.11c.
Many more to be climbed...

Jim driving along Lago General Carrera. Chile Chico is 100km from his house along a scenic gravel road.

Lago General Carrera and it's beautiful unexplored mountains to the north.

Sorting out the gear for the hike.

Rocket Jim hiking up.

Team Aussie hiking.

Coffee time.

Close view of the Pyramide.

Jim and I chilling in the warm sun.

"Warning" Do Not Use stove in tent...

clean teeth... Happy teeth.

Want to lick my toes??

Jim racking up for a new route.

At the base of " Blown Away", the 4 pitch climb that Jay Smith and Jim Turner put up.

Jim on first ascent of " Flight of the Condors" while climbing the route, 3 massive condors flew in circles over our heads.

The valley below, border of Chile - Argentina and Lago General Carrera (on Chilean side) and Lago Buenos Aires (argentinean)