Chino died from hypothermia


Rough times: A friend of ours died. Chino, an Argentinean climber, died from hypothermia after an attempt on Poincenot. Sean had met Chino here in Chalten two years ago, traveled with him for a couple of weeks, and stayed at his house in Buenos Aires. We met up with him again when we arrived in Buenos Aires at the beginning of this trip.

Chino was climbing Poincenot with his Polish climbing partner on the same day that we were climbing El Mocho. When the bad weather came in they started rappelling down but their ropes got stuck, giving them lots of trouble and leaving them exposed for a very long time to the bad weather conditions. Chino got wet and cold and when they finally reached the glacier he was in a bad state. While walking on the glacier (in terrible weather) he collapsed from hypothermia and could no longer get up. His climbing partner went down to search for help at Paso Superior (30min away) where there are snowcaves. There was nobody there and when he went back up it looked like Chino was dead (couldn¹t feel any breathing or pulse). Convinced that Chino was dead, he made his way back to Chalten and started to inform Chino¹s friends. It wasn¹t until much later that the local doctor found out and informed that there might still be a chance that Chino was still alive! When in a very bad hypothermic state, someone can seem dead but still have a very low pulse and breathing. The local climbers immediately started a rescue operation and the three of us (Sean, Nico, Mason) joined in to help. Unfortunately this was already 12 hours after his climbing partner had left Chino thinking he was dead. With a group of 13 climbers we headed up the glacier and spent all night looking for him in terrible weather conditions. It was snowing and the wind was blowing hard. We were very lucky to find him. It was still very hard and a slow operation to bring him down carefully. When he reached the hospital he still had a pulse but unfortunately his body temperature was too low and he died a little later.

You can¹t blame or judge anybody on what happened up there. The weather conditions here in Patagonia can be very rough and unless you were up there yourself it is impossible to know what the situation was like. Everybody did what they thought was best in this situation. Still it seems very important to inform people that when somebody is in hypothermia he might seem dead but still be alive and that it is important to keep his body warm and get rescue as fast as possible.

It is very hard to loose a friend like that. Chino was a great guy, a philosopher, full of wisdom, always radiating happiness and with an amazing positive vibe around him. He would always tell me (Sean): “Que sean felices” which is Spanish for “may they be happy” and that’s what he would want everybody to be right now, cause that¹s the kind of person he was.

After we got down from the rescue, a good three-day weather window came in. But following our 20h day when we climbed El Mocho and our more than 30 hour day with the rescue we were too exhausted physically and spiritually to do any climbing. It is also the beginning of March and the end of the season is coming in. So we decided to get all our gear down off the mountain and move on.

It is now time for us to start preparing ourselves physically, mentally and logistically for our next big expedition in July. Now we are off to Bariloche (Northern Patagonia) for some sportclimbing, bouldering and tradclimbing in the sun. We are psyched to start pulling down hard again.


One comment

  1. 1、早期发现失温及早处理当然最好,除了颤抖外,想睡、口齿不清、智力失常、异常行为、感情呆滞都是重要线索。


    3、严重失温死亡率高,但即使心跳已经停止也不能放弃,除非已经加温到正常体温仍然挽救无效。核心体温降至27.0摄氏度, 肢体动作或反射就会消失,脉搏很弱,看起来很像死亡。

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