American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Argentine–Chilean Patagonia, Cerro Torre

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1986

Cerro Torre. On January 10 Josef Heinl, Karl Schrag and I began our Patagonian adventure. Although we had hoped to climb the Cerro Torre by a new route, we are pleased to have got to the summit by the 1970 Maestri route on the southeast buttress on our third try. The weather alternated from frightful to brilliant sunshine. Our first attempt in lovely weather failed when Heinl fell sick after we had climbed to the col where the buttress begins. After two rest days, we climbed the first 1000 feet of the buttress to bivouac and be driven back by storm. Again we had two rest days. On January 29 we set out despite drops of rain. Heinl did not come because of a swollen foot. The weather improved as we reclimbed the already ascended rope-lengths. We bivouacked at dusk on a good ledge 90 meters above the bolt traverse and froze toward morning under a full moon and starry night. After lovely, impressive climbing on ice and rime-covered granite slabs, we reached the headwall. This we climbed in five rope-lengths of aid and in a glorious late afternoon got up the summit mushroom. After another bivouac, we made 40 rappels on the third day and got to Base Camp at Laguna Torre at midnight. Two tries on the Chouinard route on Fitz Roy failed in bad weather.

Hartmut Münchenbach, Deutscher Alpenverein

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