Torre del Norte, Hambre Es La Major Salsa. We arrived in Torres del Paine National Park in Chile on February 7, 1997. We planned to go to Campo Torres and try to get as much climbing in as possible via one-day blitzes, then explore the Paine area for other climbing options in Valle Pingo, Valle Frances, etc. After several weeks I had one day of climbing under my belt and tendonitis developing in my right knee. In that day Tim Dolan and I, both of Flagstaff, Arizona, climbed a route on the south summit of the North Tower in one day, using no fixed rope, no fixed
anchors or protection, onsight, with no previous attempts. We climbed 12 new pitches, using aid only due to icy cracks. The route would go free at 5.10 or .11 otherwise. We called our route Hambre es el Major Salsa (“hunger is the best sauce”) (IV 5.10 A1), from the book Don Quixote. We descended the Monzino (standard) route, which we joined up high after about nine new pitches. After that, we called it good, and hiked out on March 1.
In all it was considered a very poor season for weather. At one point three feet of snow fell, creating avalanche hazards and soaking the routes. This was followed by the first clear day in 15 or 20 days, but all the climbers were immobilized by the fresh snow and avalanche hazards.
Steve Bullock, unaffiliated