Tres Cruces Sur
Tres Cruces Sur Trip Report
Trip Dates: Jan 24, 2011 thru Feb. 2, 2011
Chuck Huss, Iowa
Steve Shriver, Iowa
Ben Caskey, Iowa
Ian Mclagan, Calif.
Michael Heathfield, Utah
Dan Smith, Utah
Mon. Jan. 24th
We arrived on a morning flight from Santiago. The drive from the airport to the hotel in Copiapo took about 45 minutes. We spent the afternoon picking up our truck rentals, purchasing supplies at the hardware and grocery stores. Copiapo has a couple of large grocery stores with a large variety and selection of food supplies. We did have trouble finding large jugs for storing water. The grocery stores carried water in jugs but they were smaller and less sturdy than jugs we had purchased two years ago. We ended up obtaining our water from the local water supply store. We purchased approx. fourteen sturdy 25 liters jugs for 60000 pesos and the water (305 liters total) cost about 45000 pesos.
Tues. Jan. 25th
After packing the vehicles and a final run by the grocery store, we departed Copiapo at 12:30am and arrived at the refuigo at Santa Rosa (12,400 ft) at 4:00pm. The roads, though still rough in places, were in much better shape than two years ago. This is probably due to the increased mining activity in the region. When we arrived we found the hut already occupied so setup tents next to the refuigo. Temperatures were in the 60’s F/16C and winds were 20 mph. Winds subsided and were calm by 10:00pm. An afternoon thunder storm over Tres Cruces laid down a coating of snow down to the 18,000 ft elevation.
Wed. Jan. 26th
We spent the morning relaxing and sorting gear. Clear sunny weather with temperature again in the 60’s F by the afternoon. Overnight temperatures were in the 40’s F. We hiked up to one of the ridgelines (approx. 14,000 ft) Northwest of the refuigo. Winds at the ridge were blowing steady at 30 mph. Again winds calmed down by 8:00 or 9:00pm.
Thur. Jan 27th
Weather morning: Sunny, 50–60 F, Light wind. Weather afternoon: Sunny, 60’s F, 20 mph wind.
Departed the refuigo at 9:00 am for a hike up to Co. Siete Hermanos. Arrived at summit (Hermanos East 15,885 ft) 1:00 pm. Took about two hours to descend back to hut. Hike was about 8.5 miles round trip.
Fri. Jan 28th
Weather morning: Sunny, 40–50 F, Light wind. Weather afternoon: Sunny, 55-60’s F, 15 mph wind.
Packed up equipment and drove across the valley to the 15,000ft camp site location. We encountered some muddy conditions shortly after turning off the international highway at Km211, but we were able to drive through the section. On our return the mud was deeper and the first vehicle though ended up getting stuck but was able to reverse out of the bad section. We ended up bypassing the mud by jumping the berm and driving on the east side of the road. It took about 3 hours to drive from the hut to the 15,000ft camp site. In the afternoon we took both trucks (unloaded) to the 17,000 ft campsite to check out the driving route. We encountered one steeper section with soft sand that we had to detour to the South to get around.
Sat. Jan. 29th
Weather morning: Sunny, 23 F Low, Light wind. Weather afternoon: Sunny, 45-55 F, 15 mph wind.
Packed up camp and moved to the 17,000 ft camp. A couple of us hiked to the camp site in the Col at 19,500 ft. It took about two hours to get to the high camp and about 1.5 hours to descend. The lakes at the Col contained water and only the surface had frozen overnight.
Sun. Jan. 30th
Weather morning: Sunny, 12 F Low, Light wind. Weather afternoon: Sunny, 45-55 F, 10 mph wind.
Everyone did a carry to high camp today. Depart camp about 9:30 am and arrived at high camp between 12:00 and 1:00 pm. Descent took about 1.5 hours. The sun hit the tents about 9:00 am and quickly warmed up from the cold temperatures during the night.
Mon. Jan. 31st
Weather morning: Sunny, 20 F Low, Light wind. Weather afternoon: Sunny, 50-60 F, 8-10 mph wind.
We all moved up to high camp today. It took about 3.5 hours at a casual pace to reach the high camp.
Tues. Feb. 1st
Weather morning: Sunny, 20 F Low, Light wind. Weather afternoon: Sunny, 45-50 F, 8 mph wind.
At the high camp location the sun hits the tents about 8:30am. We departed for the summit at 9:00 am. It took about 2 hours to reach the upper Col at 21,100 ft. Some loose scree conditions in the gully up to the Col. Above the Col it is a lot of boulder hopping to get to the summit. The first part of the group arrived at the summit at about 2:15 pm and the last of the group arrived about 3:00 pm. Some clouds and a couple of very, very light snow flurries on the descent. Everyone arrived back in high camp at 6:00 pm where we spent the night.
Wed. Feb. 2nd
Weather morning: Sunny, 22 F Low, Light wind. Weather afternoon: Sunny, 50-60 F, light winds.
Packed up high camp and departed about 9:30 am and moved back to the camp at 17,000 ft. where we loaded the vehicles and drove back to Copiapo. We arrived back at the hotel about 6:15 pm.
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