Chalten Massif, summary of activity. During the austral winter (July-August 2002), French Canadians Martin Bointeau and Claude Gagnon made the first winter ascent of Tomahawk (450m, TD+ 5.9 WI6) on Aguja Standhardt. Dry conditions (little ice) forced them to retreat as they attempted to push on to the summit via the upper portion of Exocet. They also made an attempt on Cerro Torre’s Southeast Ridge (Compressor Route), but were driven back by bad weather five pitches above the Col of Patience. Exocet (800m, ED- 5.9 WI6) was repeated in November by German Alex Huber and Swiss Stephan Siegrist, Roger Schaeli, and Ralph Weber after an unsuccessful attempt on the east face of Cerro Torre.
The Franco-Argentine Route (500m, ED- 5.11) on Fitz Roy saw a half dozen ascents, including ascents by Argentines Luciano y Gabriel Fiorenza in December 2002, Japanese Masahiro Takiyama and Hidenobu Hata in early January 2003, and Austrians Raimund Moser and Gunter Gapp in February 2003. The Supercanaleta route (1500m, TD+ 5.10 AI4) on Cerro Fitz Roy was climbed by Swiss David Fasel and Mike Schuwey on New Year’s Day. In November 2002 Frenchmen Nicolas Fabbri and Silvain Rivoire attempted the same route but retreated upon reaching the summit slopes, 150m from the summit.
On December 16 Swiss Carsten Von Birckhahn and Anke Clauss climbed a new route on the north face of Aguja Innominata. Their line, which they christened Artebelleza (400m, TD- 5.10 A2) climbs six new pitches on the north face, then joins the Piola-Anker route for its last three pitches along the east side of the tower. On February 17, 2003 Argentines Esteban Arellano and Juan Canale, with American Bean Bowers, freeclimbed most of this line (5.11b), but were forced to give up one pitch short of the summit due to deteriorating weather. On January 10, 2003 Von Birckhahn and Clauss repeated the Kearney-Harrington route (580m, TD- 5.10c) on the north face of Aguja Saint Exupery; it joins the upper portion of the Italian East Face route. This route (700m, TD, 5.11+) was repeated by Argentines Agustin Inchausti and Alejandro Lucena on January 8, 2003.
Rolando Garibotti, Club Andino Bariloche