American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Chile, Chilean-Argentinian Patagonia, Fitz Roy, Super Couloir, 1980

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1982

Fitz Roy, Super Couloir, 1980. During the 1979-1980 season, Marius Norstad and I went to Fitz Roy Park, hoping to climb both Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre. We believed it possible if we could make light, fast ascents. There are such routes on both peaks: the Super Couloir on Fitz Roy and the southeast ridge of the Torre. On December 31, 1979 we started up the Super Couloir at 9:30 P.M., stopping at the rock pitches 2300 feet up to wait for light. At 5:30 A.M. on January 1, 1980 we started climbing again and reached the summit at six P.M. Forty-three rappels brought us to the base by 5:30 the next morning. We had taken 32 hours, 15 of them to reach the summit. The following week we placed gear at the foot of the southeast ridge of the Torre to be ready for a quick ascent. The next five weeks offered an occasional day of climbable weather but nothing stable. Studying the weather and discussing it with others indicate a pattern that is consistent and morethan likely predictable. The wind off the Hielo Continental (the icecap) is generally southwest, fluctuating with west. The barometer may rise and good spots may appear, but nothing is stable. When the winds shift to a solid northwest and the barometer rises, it is a good prediction for fine weather for several days. Still, Patagonian weather is not good.

Mugs Stump

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