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South America, Chile, Central Andes, Cerro Giobbi and Cerro Centinela, First Ascents

Cerro Giobbi and Cerro Centinela, First Ascents. I decided to take a sabbatical to guide young climbers to unexplored mountain ranges and to give them, in practical terms, some of the climbing forces that drove us in the 1960s.

In January, 1997, we went with the climbers of the Club Alpinista Paulista (Brazil) to southern Chile. The chosen range was located close to an unknown and never-visited fjord 100 miles southeast of Puerto Eden, a village on Wellington Island. Base Camp was destroyed twice by big waves and icebergs coming from a huge icefall half a mile away. Some of us had to sail back to a nearby, more protected shore to fix the damage to the boat’s hull made by the ice.

In spite of the weather conditions, we succeeded in climbing, alpine-style, two virgin summits: Cerro Giobbi (1650m), located at 49° 57' 36" S and 73° 49' 27" W, and Cerro Centinela (1450m), located at 49° 57' 22" S and 73° 49' 48" W. Both of them rise straight up from sea level. Centinela was climbed on January 27, 1997, and Giobbi on February 3.

The area is impressive for its climbing potential, weather conditions, glacial activity and difficult access and retreat. We were also able to locate Cerro Gariota (ca. 2600m), a fantastic unclimbed rock and ice pyramid north of Penguin Fjord.

After the climbs, we began to pull out from the area, but were locked in by 15 miles of icepack. After getting ashore and reinforcing the hull with wood, anchor and old tires, we spent two days pushing against the ice to reach the Icy Channel. Sailing north, we arrived at Puerto Eden days later.

Carlos ComesaÑa, Brazil