Central Tower of Paine, East Face, Golazo. In February, Steve Schneider and Christian Santileces began a new line on the 4,000-foot east face of the Central Tower of Paine. Over four weeks, they fixed nine pitches in between the British route and German route;
pitches 6 through 8 shared the British line, which had decayed fixed ropes on the first 400 meters, presumably from a Spanish expedition. Camp I shared the British Camp I, which was littered with old batteries, leftover rope, and four haulbags containing blue containers. These were all removed during the course of their climb.
On February 22, they moved onto the wall, pulling their ropes up behind them. After a terrible week of weather, they had only climbed three-and-a-half pitches. These turned out to be the crux. On the morning of the eighth day, Santelices descended to the ground, taking three ropes with him. Schneider continued on solo for 11 more days, eventually summiting on March 12. He took three days to descend the entire route, leaving only 50 meters of rope behind that he was unable to retrieve from a rappel. Golazo (VI 5.10 A4+) is the eighth route to breach the east face of the Central Tower. Over the course of 25 pitches, no rivets were placed. Most anchors have two bolts.
Writes Schneider, “I ask anybody that climbs in Patagonia to clean all trash from their expeditions, including all fixed rope. Nothing should be left on a climb except rappel anchors. This place is a paradise of adventure and beauty. Let’s keep the wilderness clean so that others that follow may enjoy their climbs in the purest manner.” A full account of his climb appears earlier in this journal.