South America, Argentina, Southern Patagonia, Chalten Massif, Cordon Adel–Cerro Torre Traverse

Publication Year: 2012.

Cordon Adela-Cerro Torre traverse. In a seven-day roundtrip from Chalten during January 2012, Agustin and Juan Raselli and I made a south-north crossing of the Cordon Adela to finish on the summit of Cerro Torre. We bivouacked at Laguna Toro, then, via the Rio Tunel Inferior Glacier, reached the start of a 400m, 60° ramp that led to the shoulder of the first summit on the ridge. This ice- and mushroom-covered tower, west of Punta Luca, was not named and had had no previous ascent. We’ve called it Mini Torre. From the shoulder a beautiful pitch of 90° ice, then a section of easy mushrooms, led to a difficult mushroom pitch. We had to clean a lot of rime on this pitch, which forced us to bivouac below it and reach the summit in the morning. It was a good warm up for the west face of Cerro Torre.

We then traversed the west flanks of Punta Luca (2,790m) and Cerro Grande (2,751m), before continuing over Cerros Doblado (2,665m) and Ñato (2,797m) to bivouac on the col before Adela Sur. Next day we crossed Adela Sur (2,840m), Central (2,938m), and Norte, then rappelled to the Col de la Esperanza. Routefinding over mushrooms and steep rock on this last section proved quite an adventure. We continued up the southwest ridge of Cerro Torre and bivouacked beneath the Helmet. On the following day we climbed the Ragni Route on the west face to the summit and descended to our bivouac, where we slept for a few hours before going down to the Circo de los Altares. We made our last bivouac at Laguna de los Esquies, before returning south along the Viedma Glacier, over the Paso del Viento, and back to Chalten, where family and friends were waiting with a big asado.

Max O’Dell, Argentina