American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Argentine and Chilean Patagonia, Paine Tower, Torre Norte and New Route on the Torre Central, West Face, 1990-1

  • Climbs And Expeditions
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  • Publication Year: 1992

Paine Towers, Torre Norte and New Route on the Torre Central, West Face, 1990-1. Our expedition of Spanish Basques was active in the Paine Towers in late 1990 and early 1991. On December 8, 1990, Guillermo Bañales and I ascended the Italian route on the Torre Norte in 14 hours from camp. We first had to climb a 1000-meter snow-and-ice couloir. The actual climb had two or three pitches of mixed climbing but the other ten pitches were of moderately difficult rock. Our main objective, however, was a new and extremely difficult route on the west face of the Torre Central, to the left of the Wild, Wild West Route (see AAJ, 1991, pages 74-85). This had been unsuccessfully tried previously by Japanese and Italians. We worked on the route for some 45 days, mostly in poor weather. Bañales and I prepared 14 pitches before he had to leave to go back to Spain. I continued with Kike de Pablos. The first nine pitches were mostly free-climbing on somewhat rotten rock. In the middle part, the rock was fine but the climbing was direct-aid. After having fixed 700 meters, on January 27 Kike and I free-climbed the last 200 meters to the summit on somewhat decomposed rock in perfect weather. We descended the same route. We called the route “Kanterarik ez.”

Jon Lazkano, Guipuzcoa, Spain

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