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South America, Argentine—Chilean Patagonia, Escudo (Shield) and Torre Norte del Paine, 1992-3

Escudo (Shield) and Torre Norte del Paine, 1992-3. Jerry Gore and I spent four weeks in the Paine region, enduring the expected storms before making two ascents in a five-day clear period over New Years. We established a tent under a boulder below the east face of the Escudo (Shield) and waited there for two weeks before making the first ascent of the north ridge. A 12-pitch, mixed approach-gully was prepared with 200 meters of fixed line. The ridge itself involved 12 pitches (5.10, A2) on often friable granite before we reached the summit ridge of shale and snow. The access to the very summit was barred by a notch of loose shale and, not wishing to resort to bolts, we descended from that point by abseil. The round-trip climb took 20 hours and was the second route on the mountain. Two days later, on January 1, 1993, we repeated the normal route on the Torre Norte del Paine with perfect, still weather.

Andrew Perkins, Troll Safety Equipment, England