Cerro Castillo, Southeast Face. Eduardo Mondragón (España), Pablo Crovetto (Chile) and I, Rodrigo Fica (Chile), climbed the Southeast Face (650m, D+/TD-, 55° average, with a few 70° –80° sections) of Cerro Castillo (2,675m). The route had been unrepeated since the first ascent, in December 1982, by Golnar, Hansel, Kyan, and Wangh. (Cerro Castillo is located in Chile’s XI region, about 100 miles south of Coyhaique.) On February 15, 2003, we arrived at the base of the mountain in good weather. The next day we started at 3:30 a.m., and two hours later, because of excellent snow and ice conditions, we unroped. At the end of the first ramp we roped for two short pitches, then again unroped for the second icy ramp. At midday we were at the bottom of the final ten-meter headwall, which was hard to climb free at 5.8, but bad rock covered with verglas. After two falls and four hours of attempts, we summited at 4:00 p.m. We downclimbed the normal route, thus making the first traverse of the mountain, and arrived at base camp at 10:00 p.m.
Rodrigo Fica, Chile