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Rise from the flames.

Domo Blanco

By Mikey Schaefer (@mikeylikesrocks)

Occasionally things actually go better than planned in the mountains. A few days ago I left town with Joel and Neil Kauffman and headed to the mountains with a marginal forecast and vague idea for a new route. Conditions have been awful in the mountains lately. Rock climbing has been completely out of the question and even the ice climbing has been fickle. 

The weather forecast predicted arctic temps and relentless winds but it was just hopeful enough. I knew we’d need to climb something extremely protected from the wind and something we could climb in full battle gear (meaning crampons, ice tools, goggles and numerous jackets.) 

Last year while making a traverse of Cuatro Dedos I spied a deep gash on the southeast face of Domo Blanco, a short but bulky mountain at the head of the Torre Valley. I expected a scrappy gully route but what we were rewarded with was anything but scrappy. We found nearly 500m of alpine and waterfall ice, all in perfect condition one of the best new routes of my life. @patagonia #vidapatagonia

See more photos and live updates in the #VidaPatagonia gallery