Alice and Giovanni: Vagabond Mountaineering in Patagonia

Mountaineers because they are fiercely passionate about the mountains and Vagabonds because they travel without any hurry or bias.

They live on their dreams. Together they make a lively couple and a winning rope team: Alice Lazzaro and Giovanni Zaccaria.
Gio puts destinations and goals into focus while Ali has the vision along the path and knows how to savour every moment. 
“When we travel, we coincide and take full advantage of our talents. We complete one another: two is the opposite of one”.

Why Patagonia?
The Land at the end of the world, the magic land of travellers, writers and dreamers. We kind of ended up there by accident, attracted to the distance as well as to the vastness of Nature. We were fascinated by the idea of travelling in a completely independent manner, climbing in total solitude with our heads down. It’s probably true that Patagonia is within everybody’s reach by now. All you have to do is grab a plane to be tossed into places that are well maintained and filled with noisy tourists in this capital of adventure and outdoor activities. But Patagonia still offers areas that are totally intact and magical times for those who prefer a more gradual approach - travelling on 2 or 4-wheel vehicles and living on the road: Ruta 40, Carretera Austral, tiny villages scattered through the desert, immense lakes and countless kilometres of dirt roads. Areas that are one-of-a-kind where “adventure isn’t only real but it’s the most elementary form of life”. 



What’s life like on a jeep?
It’s tight. Really tight. Knowing how to organize your space from time to time is absolutely essential. But we can tell you that we’re really good at getting around in this chaos of ours! We built our 4-wheel home with wood, screws, patience and resourcefulness. A jeep is not the same thing as a camper and you have to be really clever when it comes to converting a handful of cubic metres into an automobile, kitchen or bedroom – depending on what you need at any given moment. The enthusiasm of having an entire continent to discover, the sense of freedom and independence are priceless, though. We felt that we truly could have reached any corner of the world with Bee Beep, our red 4x4 Kia!



 

Km 335: THE FREY PEAKS
A sprinkling of richly coloured granite pinnacles near Bariloche, at the gateway to Patagonia. Old school climbing here. Beautiful, but really tough.

The more you sweat on the way up, the more gratified you feel once you’ve reached the top. 

 



Km 750: PIEDRA PARADA CANYON
A climber’s paradise smack dab in the middle of the desert. Red limestone for kilometres and kilometres. Something for everyone. 
The creativity of motion and the pleasure of climbing in a surreal atmosphere.


 

Km 1680: THE SHAPES OF CERRO COLORADO 
A wall that looks like it was sculpted in a fantasy world: isolated and caressed only by the flight of the condors. 
Perfect crevices and flawlessly balanced columns. 
Trust and hope as SLCDs, hands and feet fit together.




Km 3080: EL CHALTEN: APPROACHING THE END OF THE WORLD

The mountains are huge in El Chalten. And far, too. You need strategy, physical training and lots of passion to get to the base of those walls. There are no shelters, encampments or footholds: when you take off you already know that you should be prepared to manage on your own for a few days. You have only the strength of your rope team to rely upon.





EL CHALTEN: CLIMBING THE MOUNTAINS OF YOUR DREAMS

Legendary mountains that have enchanted generations of mountaineers with the shapes of their rocks and ice sculptures. Wind and snow play around together, pestering the tired mountaineers by creating conformations and images in their clouded minds that are more similar to dreams than to reality. Difficulty and astonishment are blown all out of proportion here. In order to stand on the “cumbre” (summit) and to return home, we had to tap into all of our experience. Fortunately, luck was on our side, too. 







Km 5845: WHAT ARE YOU LEFT WITH ONCE THE JOURNEY IS OVER?
A journey’s end closes like a chapter: you go home and tell your friends about your adventures and then things get back to normal little by little. But for us this trip was real life, free and riveting! Just like we are, just like the way we choose to live: constantly on the road with no normal lifestyle to go home to. So, we just take off on new adventures. This time we’re travelling on our own. Alice is wandering around South America and Giovanni is climbing mountains in the Old World. Saying goodbye after over two months travelling together constantly, sharing absolutely everything is a very emotional experience but we’ll hook up again on the road one of these days.

Alice and Giovanni


 

Click here to learn more about the routes they climbed, read stories about the journey and see more photographs.