American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Argentina-Chilean Patagonia, Climbing Season in the Fitz Roy-Cerro Torre Area, 1994-95

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1995

Climbing Season in the Fitz Roy-Cerro Tone Area, 1994-95. [The time between the Patagonian season and our going to press is always so short that it is difficult to have a complete record. For that reason, we are grateful to Chis Breemer, who has just returned from there, for writing this report in early March.—Editor.] Tremendous new routes were climbed on Fitz Roy, Torre Egger, Saint Exupéry, Cerro Stanhardt and Cerro Torre. Two of the finest were done on Fitz Roy. Italians Andrea Sarchi, Lorenzo Nadali and Mauro Girardi alpine-style made the first ascent of Ensueño (VI, 6c/7a, Al) on the northwest side of Fitz Roy, immediately right of the Supercanaleta. Following a beautiful 1500-meter buttress, they climbed 36 new pitches before joining the Supercanaleta, which they ascended to the summit. Climbing for five days, they encountered one 10-foot section of aid and were also fortunate enough to find bivouac ledges stocked with snow and large enough for a tent. When I left, Germans Kurt Albert and Bernd Arnold were working on a new route on the 1500-meter east pillar of Fitz Roy. Starting just left of Corazón, they discovered a continuous system of beautiful cracks with no climbing harder than 5.12a. Near the top of the pillar, Arnold was injured by rockfall and they had to retreat to Base Camp. They were planning to reascend their route and continue to Fitz Roy’s summit. French climbers did one of the most difficult aid routes, Le Petit Prince, on the east face of Saint Exupéry. [See below.] American Charlie Fowler teamed up with Argentine Rolando Garabotti and climbed Saint Exupéry, Rafael (also called Innominata) and Poincenot between January 24 and 27. On Saint Exupéry, the pair climbed a new 700-meter route right of the Claro de Luna. Waking the next morning to continuing good weather, they climbed the original west-face/southwest-ridge route to the summit of Rafael. Taking a rest day on the 26th, they were delighted to find continuing good weather and on the 27th, they climbed the Carrington-Rouse route on Poincenot, a route Fowler compares to climbing El Capitan in a day. On the other side of the valley, on the east buttress of Torre Egger, Jay Smith, Conrad Anker and Steve Gerberding completed Badlands (VI, 5.10, A3, WI4). Following a steep, dark wall to the right of the 1986/87 Slovene route, they eventually exited onto a steep ice smear that led to the base of the summit mushrooms. There, they discovered two natural tunnels through the ice. Climbing through them, they arrived on the summit, making the fifth overall ascent of Torre Egger. Later in the season, Anker and Gerberding made the first ascent of Tomahawk (5.8, A2, 90°), an 8-pitch direct start to Exocet. On the west side of Cerro Torre, Maurizio Giarolli. Elio Orlandi and Odoardo Ravizza climbed a 25-pitch route, Crystals in the Wind. [See below.] Frenchmen David Autheman, Fred Valet and Patrick Pessi traversed Cerro Torre in December. Hoping to descend the Compressor route, they were soon appalled to find that they had accidentally rappelled onto the Slovene east-face route. Pitifully equipped to descend or reascend such an enormous wall, they fortunately discovered a cache left during the original ascent. Using that equipment, they eventually arrived on the glacier with only their harnesses and figure eights remaining. [See below.J

Chris Breemer

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