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Fitz Roy and Paine Cuerno Attempts, Patagonia and P c. 1700, Cordillera Darwin, Tierra del Fuego

The South African Andean Expedition started its climbing in the Fitz Roy area from December 1972 to February 1973. The main objective was the Fitz Roy Supercouloir. The weather during our stay was at least consistent: five good days in ten weeks! However Roger Fuggle and Tony Dick (accompanied on two occasions by Brian de Villiers and me) made a total of eight attempts on the 5000-foot couloir. On their best-attempt in February they had actually completed the couloir and had only 500 feet of easy ground to the summit when a storm prevented them from continuing. De Villiers and I also made the third ascent of Aguja Guillaumet via the southeast ridge (UIAA IV+) with one bivouac, and accompanied by the rest of the party, Judy Dick, Lynette Adnams and Ineke Moseley, visited the icecap near Gorra Blanca and made an ascent of Cerro Solo. Three of us, de Villiers, Ineke and Greg Moseley, visited the Cordillera Darwin in February. From Lapataia we walked across the Chilean border to Bahía Yendegaia. We proceeded up the Río Yendegaia for two days to the Stoppani Glacier, which we followed to a large tributary which entered from the west. We followed the north bank of this for a few hours to a perfect campsite in a hollow in the moraine. The next day, February 25, we continued to the head of the glacier from where we climbed the peak (c. 1700 meters or 5578 feet) immediately south of the col by an interesting mixed route of UIAA IV difficulty. In March we made a brief visit to the Paine range. From camp on the Río Francés Dick and Fuggle attempted the Cuerno Principal. The peak is very easy until the final 250-foot tower. This last section has repulsed several strong attempts, including Whillans, Clough, Jack Miller and Japanese. After circling the peak, our friends found no feasible route and so the mountain awaits a second ascent. The first ascent was made by Chileans in 1968.

Gregory Moseley, South African Alpine Club