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South America, Argentina, Argentine Patagonia, Cerro Rincon, New Route, and PUnta Amigos, First Ascent

Cerro Rincon, New Route, and Punta Amigos, First Ascent. It was November 27. Once more, the alarm clock rang at 3 a.m. After 15 days of continuous rain, we didn’t give ourselves much of a chance to climb another peak on this trip, even though we had successfully completed our mission on Cerro dos Cumbres on November 12 (see below). But this morning the sky looked promisingly clear. Quickly we got ready, loaded up with bivouac material and equipment for a few days, and took off. Because it had been raining a lot the previous two weeks, we decided to do Cerro Rincon, which had had only one prior ascent.

On the way to the start of Cerro Rincon, David Göttler, another German, joined Michi Wärthl (Germany) and me. Through knee-deep snow, we tracked our way up to the bergschrund of Cerro Rincon’s unclimbed north face. (The original ascent route climbs the far left side of the north face to reach the east ridge-Ed.) The second ropelength—a narrow couloir with a thin layer of 90-degree ice—turned out to be the key. The remaining eight rope lengths were up-to-65-degree ice, which the three of us climbed all the way to the top.

At 3 p.m., Michi and I traversed to the previously unclimbed side peak of Cerro Rincon. We named it Cerro Amigos.* (This point is but a secondary point to Rincon. It should therefore be called “Punta Amigos,” since the word “cerro” implies a completely independent peak-Ed.) One hour later we started the descent, rappelling our ascent route. All the belays are installed (ten ropelengths).

Stephan Siegrist, Switzerland