Cuerno Oeste, Mas Ricas No Hay; Cuerno Chico, Hurly Burly. My partner Mark Davis and I arrived in Torres del Paine National Park in the first week of February 2003. Our initial objective was a new route on the west face of Torre Norte. We waited eight days at Campamento Japones, during which we twice tried to climb but were twice turned back by wind and snow. We then aborted the Towers and headed to the Bader Valley, also known as the Pingo Valley, which is reputed to have a better microclimate. Our luck changed, and our first day there was beautiful. We spied a nice-looking 1,200' line on the southeast face of Cuerno Oeste and began climbing at 10:30 a.m. on February 12. The route starts just to the right of an obvious 20' overhang (where we bivied) near the mouth of the valley, with 200' of class 4 and a 30' 5.6 dihedral. We traversed a ledge to the right, to a 5.7 corner. There we roped up and simul-climbed for 300 feet of 5.6-5.8, moving through crack systems and heading gradually left. At another ledge the climbing became more difficult, so we climbed the final 750-800' in pitches. This section begins with a 5.8 crack, traverses left through a 5.10 roof into a dihedral, and traverses left again, under a hanging flake into a chimney. After the chimney the climb moves out left through another roof to a crack that peters out. An A0 move was required to bridge a four-foot blank section to another crack, which leads to a ledge with rotten rock above. The route stops where the rotten rock begins. Mas Ricas No Hay (IV 5.10 A0).
A few days after climbing Cuerno Oeste we put up a 600' route on the east face of Cuerno Chico. We called the route Hurly Burly (5.9). Toward the end of February we tried a new line on Cuerno Oeste just to the right of Flight of the Condor. After 400' we hit a section of crumby rock, so we descended and traversed to Flight of the Condor. We climbed the first third of that route before a storm rolled in, and we descended in the rain. We had three climbing days during our month-long visit.
John Reyher, AAJ