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South America, Argentine and Chilean Patagonia, Torre Norte del Paine, 1989

Torre Norte del Paine, 1989. In October and November of 1989, John Catto and I traveled to Chilean Patagonia to attempt the Central and North Paine Towers. On October 26, we established our Base Camp at the traditional Campo Italiano in perfect weather. After stocking a high camp under a boulder near the west-side approach gully, we planned to climb free the regular south-ridge route on the Torre Norte. In perfect weather on October 28, succeeded. A few pitches of easy mixed climbing to the Brecha Bich were followed by two very difficult, cold, rock pitches, each about 5.10. The rest was nine moderate 5.7 or 5.8 pitches to the summit. We climbed in wool-lined Fires and thin polypropolene gloves. The weather then deteriorated. We made two abortive tries to do a new line on the Torre Central.

Peter Gallagher