Cerro Dos Cumbres, New Route. Stephan Siegrist (Switzerland), and Michael Wärthl and
Tom Dauer (both from Germany) teamed up in November to visit the Cordón Mariano Moreno, a mountain range situated in the middle of Patagonia’s Hielo Continental Sur. The aim of the group was the ascent of the prominent east pillar of Cerro Dos Cumbres (3249m). The pillar had been tried by an Argentinian-American party in 1996. After carrying all the gear up from Laguna Toro to the Paso del Viento in a spell of bad weather, Siegrist (who took part in the first winter ascent of the Ferrari Route on Cerro Torre in 1999), Wärthl, and Dauer (who both tried the Ferrari Route one winter earlier, in June, 1998) needed one day to cross the Hielo Continental from the Paso del Viento to the Nunatak Viedma, where they established their base camp (995m). The following day, the weather turned out to be good, and the team climbed the east pillar up and down in a single 12-hour push. The rope was only used for abseiling. Strong winds and very cold temperatures made the ascent quite adventurous, though the technical difficulties were not too high (UIAA VI 75° M5). After Dauer reached his hometown of Munich, he learned from Gunther Sturm that Sturm and Martin Schliessler, both alpine veterans, had climbed Cerro Dos Cumbres 27 years earlier with two Argentinian friends—a great feat that had never been documented. Therefore, the Siegrist-Wärthl-Dauer ascent was probably the third ascent of Cerro Dos Cumbres. Certainly future visitors to the isolated and wild Cordón Mariano Moreno will find a great range of climbing possibilities, both for first ascents and new routes.
Tom Dauer, Germany