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South America, Argentine and Chilean Patagonia, Peaks in the Valle del Fracés, Paine Group

Peaks in the Valle del Francés, Paine Group. Santiago youths led by Rodrigo Mujica climbed in the valley of El Francés, whose sources are some five kilometers west of the Paine Towers. During January and part of February, they made the following climbs: Aleta de Tiburón (1850 meters, 6070 feet) by Esteban Chacón, C. Porcila, Andrés Zegers; Trono Blanco (or Mellizo Este; c. 2400 meters, 7874 feet), third ascent, by Juan Montes, Mujica, Mauricio Rojas on January 24; Cuerno Principal or Central del Paine (2110 meters, 6923 feet) by Zegers, Mujica on February 4; Gemelo (or Mellizo) Oeste (c. 2400 meters, 7874 feet), second ascent via a new route on the south by way of 5.9 cracks and a 200-meter ice couloir by Boitano, Chacón on February 4; Fortaleza (2755 meters, 9037 feet) by two different routes. One was a center line between the first-ascent (southwest) and the southeast routes by Rojas and M. Bovey. Boitano and Montes made the second alpine-style ascent of the 1968 Ian Clough route on the Fortress. To their surprise, after the first snow-and-ice couloir, they found they could not continue up the dihedral. They had to make a variant of six pitches to the left, 300-meters-high, 5.9, A3. The ice on the original route had become impracticable because of the warm weather. They followed an English team that had made the first alpine-style ascent a week earlier on the ice. [The names Mellizo and Gemelo are apparently used, both meaning twin. —Editor.]

Evelio Echevarría