American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Argentina, Southern Patagonia, Chalten Massif, Cerro Adela, Asamblea de Majaras

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year: N/A
  • Publication Year: 2008

Cerro Adela, Asamblea de Majaras. Alvaro Novellón, Oscar Perez, Santi Padrós, and I had hoped to climb Cerro Torre, going directly to the Col of the Hope via A la Recherche du Temps Perdu (Marsigny-Parkin) and continuing to the summit by the Ferrari West Face route, a link-up first completed by Colin Haley and Kelly Cordes in January 2007. Many parties other than Marsigny and Parkin had tried this link-up before, including Pepe Chavarri and I in 1995, Bruno Sourzac and Laurence Monoyeur in 1997, and Ermanno Salvaterra and a partner later. During our attempt to climb A la Recherche du Temps Perdu, while we were a little below halfway, two consecutive avalanches released from the serac above, urging us to retreat—luckily without serious consequences.

After a day of rest we tried a new route on the east face of Cerro Adela. At 12:30 a.m. on October 10 we began walking in the dark from our snow cave on the glacier immediately below Adela’s and Torre’s south faces. By sunrise we had climbed 600m of ice with maximum steepness up to 85°. Later, with the sun warming up, we simul-climbed 200m of easy snow and mixed ramps.

When we arrived at the base of last the 200m steep step, we decided that each party would take a different line, so we would not have to wait for each other. Alvaro and Oscar climbed a line just left of the gully, while Santi and I climbed a more direct finish, which involved tenuous mixed climbing on bad rock. This final section was the crux of the climb, with poor rock and ice making us nervous. After 15 hours of climbing, we climbed the summit ridge and shortly after were on top of Cerro Adela.

For our descent, we did not know the terrain very clearly. We headed south along the ridge and then dropped east, toward the Torre Valley, via the col before Cerro Ñato. On the hanging glacier below Ñato we dug a hole inside a crevasse and spent the night. The following afternoon we arrived at El Chalten. The descent was not difficult but was fairly involved.

This expedition celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Peña Guara club of Huesca, to which Alvaro, Oscar, and I belong. Without its support this climb might not have been possible.

Asamblea de Majaras (1,000m, ED 95°[max] M5+).

Dani Ascaso, Spain

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