South America, Chile, Southern Patagonia, Torres del Paine National Park, Cerro Escudo, Taste the Paine

Publication Year: 2008.

Cerro Escudo, Taste the Paine. In December 2007 and January 2008, with a minimum of rope fixing and no fixed camps, Dave Turner spent 34 continuous days on the east face of Cerro Escudo, soloing a new route (VII 5.9 A4+). Above the 1,200m wall, Turner continued up the technical, 300-vertical-meter ridge to the summit. In addition to impressive style and difficulty, Turner was the first to climb the face and continue to the summit. See Turner’s feature earlier in this Journal.

Almirante Nieto, Calambrito, to sedimentary band. On January 31, 2008, Daniel Darrigrandi, Nacho Grez, and I approached the west face of Almirante Nieto from the Bader Valley, the most unknown big wall valley in Torres del Paine. Only a few expeditions have climbed routes in this valley, and many new routes and some first ascents await serious climbers.

Almirante Nieto is a huge mountain that has three west-facing walls, and we don’t think any routes existed on the wall where we climbed. We departed base camp at 4 a.m. and took three hours to reach the base of the wall, heading up a slabby drainage with snowpatches to a prominent right-facing dihedral that looks like a banana. In the upper half, at the big roof we traversed to the right and continued to the base of the black rock. The climb ends where the sedimentary rock starts, as its poor quality makes it almost impossible and too risky to climb. We climbed six pitches (300m, 5.9+ R) on great granite, including finger cracks, offwidths and chimneys. It was a great climb, though many sections were unprotectable.

We descended by traversing right, and found a direct and easy way to rappel.

Hernan Jofre, Chile

Share this article