American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Argentine Patagonia, Torre Egger and Cerro Standhart, Attempts

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1998

Torre Egger and Cerro Standhart, Attempts. Hugo Biarge, Pere Vilarasau and I tried an alpine-style ascent of Badlands on Torre Egger on December 15-16. We were unsuccessful. January was awful: there wasn’t a single day of good weather; our ice cave got buried by snow with all the gear in it and it took us several tries to find it. During our last try on February 1 (five days before the plane was leaving), the weather improved a little so Hugo, Santiago Palacios and I went for it. We wanted to link Tomahawk and Exocet, so we started to climb at 9 o’clock at night. The route was in very bad condition but we kept going anyway. At sunrise, we reached the snow slopes on the middle section of the wall. The day was gorgeous and we were super-motivated to go on, but as soon as we climbed the first pitch on the upper goulotte of Exocet, the day got warmer and huge blocks of ice started to fall everywhere off the wall. The couloir was one of the most dangerous places to be because all the falling ice was funneled down it. We were only seven pitches below the summit. We went down and suffered an epic descent, rappeling off shitty gear while being hit by chunks of ice all over. It took us the whole day to reach the ground, but when we got back to the ice cave we were the happiest men on earth just because we were alive.

We still think alpine style is the right way to climb mountains, even if you have to push the limits, even if you have to fail like we did.

Simon Elias, Spain

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