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South America, Patagonia, El Mocho, East Buttress; Torre Innominata, North Spur; Aguja Poicenot,East Face; Aguja Guillaumet, Southeast Face; and Other Climbs

El Mocho, East Buttress; Torre Innominata, North Spur; Aguja Poincenot, East Face; Aguja Guillaumet, Southeast Face; and Other Climbs. Michel Piola and I arrived at Chaltén on December 6, 1988. Our first intention had been to try a new route on the impressive west face of Pier Giorgio. We set up our tent on the Marconi Glacier, three hours from the wall. Up there, some hours beyond the last habitation at Piedra del Fraile, we spent first five days and then eleven days waiting for good weather. The conditions were so bad that we decided to do a shorter climb, the 600-meter-high west buttress of Cerro Pollone (2396 meters, 7860 feet). In two half-days with better weather, we fixed 200 meters of rope. Then, on December 28, 1988, we set out at three A.M. to try to climb to the summit. In the afternoon the next snowstorm began. Still 100 meters below the foresummit, some 13 pitches up, we decided to rappel off. During the first part of January, the weather was better whenever it was windy. We went to the Cerro Torre Base Camp. On January 4, we walked to the base of El Mocho (1980 meters, 6496 feet) and made a new route on the left of the east buttress. This 500-meter-high climb was interesting and principally free. We rappelled down the same route. We came down late at night and had a rest day. On January 6, we made the first ascent of the north spur of the Torre Innominata (2501 meters, 8205 feet). This 400-meter-high beautiful ascent was mainly in cracks. We climbed five pitches on the west flank of the ridge and the last six on the east side. The incredibly strong west wind nearly blew us off the normal east-ridge route on the descent. We got back to the Cerro Torre Base Camp at 1:30 A.M. The next afternoon we returned to Chaltén. The following day, we went up to the Paso Superior. On January 9, we first started up the snow-and-ice ramp on the Aguja Poincenot (3036 meters, 9961 feet) on which the first-ascent route begins; this route was originally climbed in 1962 by Don Whillans and Frank Cochrane and is now the normal route up the needle. Halfway up the ramp, we turned to the right and regained the rock of the east face. After a difficult climb of 10 pitches, we reached the summit at eight P. M. We finished our descent to the Paso Superior at two A.M. Fortunately, it began to snow and so we had a forced rest day. On the 11th, we climbed straight up seven pitches to where we had begun our rock climb on the 9th; we had rappelled down this section on the previous descent. Thus we completed all 17 pitches of this 600-meter-high climb in two efforts. Finally, on January 12, we climbed a new route on the southeast face of the Aguja Guillaumet (2539 meters, 8330 feet). Part of the rock was gravelly. Again the wind was very strong on the top and during the descent. That evening we returned to Chaltén and left the national park the day after. (Our routes may be followed on the accompanying drawings, all done by my companion, Michel Piola. “R” followed by a number indicates a belay stance; “pa” indicates direct aide.)

Daniel Anker, Schweizer Alpen Club