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South America, Argentine-Chilean Patagonia, Cerro Torre, Maestri-Egger Route Attempt, Domo Blanco and Cerro Doblado

Cerro Torre, Maestri-Egger Route Attempt, Domo Blanco and Cerro Doblado. From April 2 to June 17, Gerold Dünser, Toni Ponholzer and I were based at the Bridwell Camp, hoping to climb the Maestri-Egger route on Cerro Torre. We stocked supplies at the foot of the face and prepared our hanging bivouac tent. After two failed attempts, on May 10 we felt that the weather looked promising. We set out with ten day’s supplies and on the third day reached the Collado de la Conquista. That night, the weather shifted with wind and snow squalls. The bivouac tent was really tested for the first time. The next day, the weather seemed to improve and we hurried upward from the col. The afternoon brought more wind and great cold. We were 150 or 200 meters above the col, still 350 meters from the summit and had moved from the more sheltered east side to the west. Damp air from the Pacific was accompanied by -15°C temperatures. We waited for better weather. On the morning of the eighth day, the fourth at the bivouac, a bit of sun cheered us, but the weather was still threatening. As we retreated, the cold was less when we regained the eastern side. We still had to bivouac 500 meters above the foot of the wall. We descended on the ninth day in a heavy snow storm with many powder-snow avalanches. We reached the foot of the wall in the early evening. The weather for the next 2½ weeks showed its worst side. We finally were able to use short breaks for two climbs. On June 6, we made the second ascent of the Domo Blanco (2507 meters, 8250 feet) by a new route, from the col between it and the Aguja CAT. This involved 60° to 65° ice on the south flank. On June 8, we climbed Cerro Doblado (2665 meters, 8743 feet), a rarely visited mountain.

Tommy Bonapace, Österreichischer Alpenverein