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South America, Argentine and Chilean Patagonia, Peineta

Peineta. The Fédération Française de la Montagne et de l’Escalade chose eight young climbers of very promising talent and gave them winter training on Mont Blanc, rock climbing at Verdon, more great routes in Chamonix and finally sent four to Nepal and the other four to Chilean Patagonia. Those who visited the Paine group were Yvan Boullen, Lionel Pernollet, David Ravanel and Jerome Ruby, led by Pierre Faivre. They got to Base Camp on December 9, finding several other expeditions there. They decided on the 800-meter high east face of Peineta and began immediately to prepare the route, much of which involved artificial aid. A portaledge bivouac was established nine pitches up. From December 13 to 16, they climbed another 300 meters. On the morning of December 17, they left the bivouac and after climbing the 300 meters of fixed rope, they found the rest of the climb less difficult. They arrived on top at 1:30 P.M. in bad weather. After a rest period in which the weather was stormy, on December 23 they climbed the Torre Norte del Paine in 12 hours, the first French to do so. [The Editor is not sure which mountain Peineta is. No such name appears on the maps available to him. The French have in different reports given at least three different spellings for the peak. The Editor has chosen “Peineta,” which means “comb” in Spanish.]