North Tower of Paine, Los Esclavos del Barometro and other ascents. On December 31 Tina DiBatista and I (Slovenians) climbed a new route to the North Summit of the North Tower of Paine. We climbed a beautiful crack line to the right of the route Armas y Rozas. I had tried the line with my friend Nejc Bevk two days before, but we had to retreat because of a sudden snowstorm. We climbed around 250m that day. It was cold, but the rock was dry, and we were mostly free climbing. We did not leave fixed ropes.
Two days later cracks were full of snow and ice, so Tina and I were forced to aid most of the hard pitches. We were angry about the conditions, but our time was running out, and we had to take what was offered. At 6 p.m. we reached the summit and rappelled the route. The roundtrip from base camp took 19 hours. The name of our 500m route is Los Esclavos del Barometro (Barometer Slaves), and we graded it V 5.10 A2. We believe it would be possible to free climb the route, with difficulties around 5.11. On the first two pitches we found pieces of old fixed ropes.
On December 16 we climbed the Piola–Sprungli 1992 route, La Ultima Esperanza (500m, 5.11 Al). Our friends Janez Peterlin and Nejc Brescak repeated Taller del Sol (500m, 5.10+).
Tomaz Jakofcic, Slovenia