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South America, Argentine and Chilean Patagonia, Fortaleza, East Face

Fortaleza, East Face. The 1200-meter-high east face of Fortaleza was raked by rockfall and remained unclimbed. In October and November, Yugoslavs Peter Podgornik and Matjaž Ravhekar climbed 350 meters of the wall but gave up because of illness, leaving rope and other gear. In December, another Slovene pair, Marko Lukic and Miha Praprotnik, fixed six more pitches during two efforts before being driven down by wind and snow. Their final attack started on December 27. They carried only sleeping bags. Above the ropes already fixed, they climbed another 21 pitches, mostly of extreme difficulty (UIAA VI+ to VIII -, A2 to A4). In the upper part they encountered steep, hard ice up to 75°. At nine P.M. of December 28, they reached the summit. They rappelled the same route during the morning of the 29th. The whole climb was done without sleep or drink; the wind prevented cooking. This seems to be the fourth ascent of the mountain. Later, Praprotnik climbed the North Tower of Paine with Andreja Velikonja, who thus completed the second female ascent.

Józef Nyka, Editor, Taternik, Poland