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Lost In Penitentes

 
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Lost In Penitentes
Okay, so I wasn't exactly lost. Photographed at 19,300 feet on Ojos del Salado, the highest volcano in the world, January 7, 2011.

According to Wikipedia, Penitentes "are a snow formation found at high altitudes. They take the form of tall thin blades of hardened snow or ice closely spaced with the blades oriented towards the general direction of the sun. Penitentes can be as tall as a person."

Here are more penitentes near Everst base camp.

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Josh LewisThat looks crazy!

Josh Lewis

Voted 10/10

I've seen spikey ice stick up, but not quite like this, cool scene! I wish I could have been there. Cheers Josh Lewis.
Posted Jan 26, 2011 11:24 am

gimpilatorRe: That looks crazy!

gimpilator

Hasn't voted

Thanks Josh! I have no doubt in my mind that you will go there some day.
Posted Jan 26, 2011 11:52 pm

beaudaddy85Wow!

beaudaddy85

Voted 10/10

Can't wait to hear the stories!
Posted Jan 26, 2011 1:03 pm

gimpilatorRe: Wow!

gimpilator

Hasn't voted

Thanks Beau. I plan to write a lengthy trip report but it will be several weeks in the making. Traveling through three different countries, we climbed one 14er, one 16er, one 18er, two 19ers, and two 22ers.
Posted Jan 27, 2011 12:04 am

MarcsoltanI think...

Marcsoltan

Voted 10/10

these start as sun cups and eventually become sharp and pointy. I have seen these in many different stages of development.
Nice photo, Adam,
Marc
Posted Jan 26, 2011 2:37 pm

gimpilatorRe: I think...

gimpilator

Hasn't voted

Thanks Marc. I'm sure you're right because I seen them start to develop in late summer on Mount Rainer. But, I don't think they get very big or tall outside of the Andes. The ones on Rainier were only about a foot tall.
Posted Jan 26, 2011 11:54 pm

Ski MountaineerRe: I think...

Ski Mountaineer

Hasn't voted

I have encountered similarly larges ones in southern Tajikistan as well. The cliamte there is similar to the Central Chilean/Argentine Andes, though. That part of the Andes just sees so many climbers, so the stories of penitentes from there are abundant, whilst other penitentes hot spots are seldomly visited. But yeah, the really large ones are probably unique to the Andes.

Posted Jan 27, 2011 1:00 am

MarcsoltanRe: I think...

Marcsoltan

Voted 10/10

I have seen these on Mount Damvand, in Iran. They are about five feet tall. There are large fields of them as you get close to the summit, around 18000 feet.
Posted Jan 27, 2011 3:39 pm

gimpilatorRe: I think...

gimpilator

Hasn't voted

Very interesting. I guess they can form in many parts of the world under the right conditions.
Posted Jan 27, 2011 6:37 pm

MansourehRe: I think...

Mansoureh

Voted 10/10

hi
this is Mansoureh from iran...you mentioned that you has seen such that in Damavand...i would be gratful if u tell me which side you`d climbed that u could see them...
thanx
Posted Jan 30, 2011 4:05 am

MarcsoltanRe: I think...

Marcsoltan

Voted 10/10

Yes, hello Mansoureh, I saw them on the regular route on the south side of the mountain about forty five years ago.
They were beyond the frozen waterfall but before the summit.
Posted Jan 30, 2011 11:01 am

RedwicWicked!

Redwic

Voted 10/10

Nice photo! I wish I could see some pentitentes! You didn't see any snow worms hiding out between them, did you? :-)
Posted Jan 26, 2011 4:00 pm

gimpilatorRe: Wicked!

gimpilator

Hasn't voted

Thanks! No, didn't see any worms. Actually we didn't see any plants or animals over 15,000 feet. It was almost shocking on the descent when I saw the first living green plant.
Posted Jan 26, 2011 11:58 pm

ericnoelSnow Spires

ericnoel

Voted 10/10

A gave this a 10 but it is contingent upon receiving an entertaining and thorough trip report ASAP.

Otherwise, I am voting it a 10 and that is not just an empty threat!
Posted Jan 26, 2011 8:26 pm

gimpilatorRe: Snow Spires

gimpilator

Hasn't voted

Thanks Eric! I'll get on it right away!
Posted Jan 26, 2011 11:59 pm

KieferDamn!

Kiefer

Voted 10/10

This is an insane picture! Completely wild!
Posted Jan 27, 2011 1:49 am

gimpilatorRe: Damn!

gimpilator

Hasn't voted

Thanks! Penitentes are pretty damn awesome. I guess I'll probably never see them again so large.
Posted Jan 27, 2011 6:36 pm

MarmadukeSuper photo

Marmaduke

Voted 10/10

Some are so lucky! You are one of them!
Posted Jan 27, 2011 2:14 am

gimpilatorRe: Super photo

gimpilator

Hasn't voted

That's the truth. My friends keep saying "it's going to be the trip of a life-time". But I'm lucky enough to have been on many of these trips "of a life-time" now.
Posted Jan 27, 2011 6:39 pm

Mark DoironThat's Cool

Mark Doiron

Voted 10/10

This is one to hang on the wall. --mark d.
Posted Jan 27, 2011 6:49 am

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gimpilatorSubmitted by gimpilator
on Jan 26, 2011 9:15 am

Image ID: 694556
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Object Title: Lost In Penitentes