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South America, Argentine Patagonia, Cerro Piergiorgio, Esperando La Cumbre, and Other Activity

Cerro Piergiorgio, Esperando La Cumbre, and Other Activity. Maurizio Giordani and I made the first ascent of the northwest spur of Piergiorgio (east summit) via Esperando La Cumbre (VI+ Al, 850m), which included couloir ice up to 75° (WI4) and mixed climbing using only pitons, with belays equipped on the ridge. We climbed it in alpine style on December 3,1996. We approached the mountain and bivouacked in an igloo beneath the northwest face (the location of our 1995 attempt, Gringos Locos, which we intended to complete). We verified that the fixed ropes left on the wall the year before had been destroyed by wind, and changed our itinerary.

On December 4, we departed across the glacier between Piergiorgio and Cerro Pollone. We began to climb a glacier and mixed couloir that brought us to the snowy col between Pollone and Piergiorgio (VI- A1 WI4, four pitches). We bivouacked at the col after having climbed the eastern foresummit of Cerro Pollone (easy).

On December 5, we began the northern spur of Piergiorgio, where we found traces of previous attempts (Cesarino Fava and Augusto Mengelle, 1963). The first part was on rock and couloir ice (VI Al WI3, five pitches), then easy snow (passing the point where Pepe Rajo on the north face ends), then up three pitches of rock (VI+) to the summit crest of Piergiorgio (East Summit). We descended the route to the col, then began the long traverse beneath the east slope of Piergiorgio toward Fitz Roy. We followed all the ice of the Pollone Glacier, reaching the Cuadrado Pass at around 1 a.m., a little beneath which we bivouacked. The next day we descended to the Piedra del Fraile.

On December 8,I made the third solo ascent of Aguja Guillaumet’s entire northwest spur (following the 1990 Giordani variation plus the 1965 Argentine route) (VII- AO, 1000m) in five hours, self-belaying on only the most difficult pitch.

Gianluca Maspes, Italy