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South America, Chile, Pico Poincenot, FitzRoy Group, Patagonia

Pico Poincenot, FitzRoy Group, Patagonia. The University of Dublin Expedition succeeded in climbing the Pico Poincenot (9961 feet), the sheer granite tower which spears the sky just west of FitzRoy. Led by Frank Cochrane, composed of the Irishmen Tony Kavanage and George Narramore and the Englishmen Don Whillans, Clive Burland and Francis Beloe and accompanied by the Argentines Dr. José Iglesias, Bartolomé Olivieri and Juan Barrientos y Leiva, this expedition reached Lago Viedma on December 28. Following the French route of 1952 to FitzRoy, they established Base Camp on the shores of Río Blanco, Camp I on Lago de los Tres, Camp II on the site of the French Camp I and Camp III (an ice cave) on the upper glaciers southeast of the Col of the Italians. Above this camp the ice work began, the most arduous task of the expedition. A deep crevasse cut off advance. Beyond rose a very steep slope and a narrow ramp of ice. With the help of belay pickets they crossed the schrund and on January 17, 1962 Whillans and Kavanage placed fixed ropes on the ramp. On the 20th this same pair made the first attempt but were beaten back by the weather. Similarly Whillans and Cochrane failed on January 26 and were forced back to lower camps by bad weather. On January 30 these two, accompanied by others, reoccupied Camp III and at two A.M. on the 31st left for the summit. They finally succeeded in climbing the ramp to its end and found a possible route on the rock face of the needle. Without major difficulties they climbed a 650-foot wall in two hours and at one p.m. reached the summit. The descent to Camp III took eight hours.

Vojslav Arko, Club Andino Bariloche