American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Argentina, Argentine Patagonia, El Mocho, Little Big Wall

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1997

El Mocho, Little Big Wall. We left our equipment at the foot of Media Luna, in front of El Mocho, in preparation for our attempt on Cerro Torre. Thanks to all the strong mental training for our first expedition, we took our stuff and put everything under a big fat rock so as not to lose our gear to the strong wind. Aren’t we smart?… but meanwhile, isn’t the sun smarter by melting the snow on which lays the rock that finally slips and crushes our backpacks! When we returned for an attempt on the Torre, we had to shift our brains to our arms and begin to dig. Finally we arrived at the Col de la Paciencia to sleep. In the morning clouds trundled down on our helmets. We began to search for a new objective. Often under clouds’ cover, El Mocho appeared to us as an obvious climb. We decided to fix ropes on the first half of the wall before finishing alpine-style. The route begins with a huge dihedral that leads to a narrow ledge that we followed left, then climbs a line of obvious dihedrals and cracks to a middle ledge 250 meters higher. The steepness and compact rock allowed for only aid. Most of the cracks were stopped up or flaring, which made friends and stoppers tough to place. We swung from one crack to another, drilling some holes for skyhooks. Remy closed Chapter One with an impressive 6c crack climb. Our fixed ropes hung in the void without touching the granite. We reached the summit a few days later. All ropes were brought down to Base Camp and given to our Argentinian friends. We left nothing on the pitches. (400 meters, 6c A3)

Vasken Koutoudjian, France

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