American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Chile, Northern Patagonia, Cerro Pico Moro, First Ascent, Normal Casanova

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2008

Cerro Pico Moro, first ascent, Normal Casanova. After my return from Cochamó, Jose Datolli, Felipe Opazo, and Marcelo Cortes organized an expedition to Cerro Pico Moro, near Palena, Chile. With the help of the Chilean Air Force and the Municipality of Palena, we embarked for this Patagonian city. From Palena we were transported to the nearby Valle el Azul, where Datolli and I set off without a stove or bivy gear for a trip that we supposed would take two days, up an unclimbed peak. After getting whipped by bad weather, we waited for the support of the rest of our team and some locals who were bringing in supplies for an advanced base camp. After a day of waiting for good weather, Datolli and I set off again without bivy gear, climbing three pitches and descending to a bivy at the base of the wall. Early the next morning we started again, freeing the first three pitches and continuing to the summit, which we reached at 2 p.m. By 4 p.m. we had returned to the base of the wall, where the rest of the team awaited us, and we all returned to advanced base camp.

The route, Normal Casanova, climbs the southwest face in eight pitches, beginning with a finger and hand crack, which contains the only 5.10. From here to the top the climbing is relatively easy, but with a lot of loose blocks. Though we climbed in summer, mid-February, I recommend this part of Chilean Patagonia for winter [southern hemisphere winter] ascents. It is virtually unexplored and full of unclimbed glaciers and peaks.

Michael SAnchez Adams, Chile (translated by Adam French)

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