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South America, Argentine—Chilean Patagonia, Bífida, Ridge Between Cuatro Dedos and Bífida and Cerro Grande

Bífida, Ridge Between Cuatro Dedos and Bífida, and Cerro Grande. Gerold Dünser and I were based at the Bridwell Camp near Laguna Torre from January 20 to March 24. Our objective was to climb the Egger-Maestri route on Cerro Torre, but knowing how important good weather was, we kept off it except for a one-day attempt, which ended with bad weather. There is a crack system on the east face of Bífida below the north and south summits, which rises some 800 meters. On January 29, we climbed a little more than halfway up the face, where an iced off-width crack stopped us. After a warm bivouac, we climbed up and right, crossing both the Ferrari and the first-ascent routes. By mid-afternoon we were on the north (main) summit, but we had to rappel directly off in a blinding snowstorm. On the ridge between Cuatro Dedos and Bífida, there are three impressive rock spires. On March 14, we first reached the col between Cuatro Dedos and the first of these towers, climbing the 200 meters of the east face on rock and then a snow ramp. Heading south, we found lovely slabs and cracks and rappels off the towers. At dark, we had climbed the third tower, from which we rappelled first to the south and then to the east. (VI+, 21 pitches, 12 hours.) On March 18. Dünser and Brazilian Bito Meyer started up toward the compressor route on Cerro Torre, but the single-day good weather soon ended. That same day, I ascended solo Cerro Grande by the 60° north face and descended the east ridge. I later found that in January of 1991 two Swiss had climbed the mountain: Werner Stucki solo by the north face and Thomas Villars by the east ridge. They descended the east ridge together.

Tommy Bonapace, Österreichischer Alpenverein