South America, Argentina, Southern Patagonia, Chalten Massif, Aguja Val Biois, Mi Mundo de Contradicciones; Fitz Roy (3,405m), Pilar Goretta, Crux del Sur; Aguja de la Silla (2,938m), Destreza Criolla
Aguja Val Biois, Mi Mundo de Contradicciones; Fitz Roy (3,405m), Pilar Goretta, Crux del Sur; Aguja de la Silla (2,938m), Destreza Criolla. Last season, after opening Al Abordaje!, a new route on the west face of Fitz Roy’s Goretta Pillar, I descended the north side of the pillar and was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the rock. I returned in February 2012, but such warm weather made it unthinkable to climb either of the gullies that lead to the Col del Bloque Empotrado. Pablo Pontoriero, Sasha Gal, and I decided to open a new access to the col, climbing Mi Mundo de Contradicciones (300m, 6b) on the west face of Aguja Val Biois. After passing below the summit of Val Biois, we dropped into the col and climbed the Casarotto, with the Kearney-Knight, variation to the summit of Fitz Roy.
Some days later Sasha and I were back. Because the weather window was short, we climbed the west couloir to the col, dodging a few falling rocks. We then climbed three pitches of the Casarotto, two of Chimichurri (without knowing where it went), and continued direct. We bivouacked halfway up, and on the second day climbed impressive dihedrals just to the side of the pillar’s nose. Both the rock and the climbing were of high quality; this was one of the best routes I have done in Patagonia. At 3 p.m. we were atop the Goretta Pillar but descended rapidly, knowing the weather was supposed to take a rapid turn for the worse. We reached the bottom in the midst of a snowstorm. We called our route Crux del Sur (520m, 6c).
In March Jony Jorzuk, Diego Simari, and I ventured to the northwest pillar of Aguja de la Silla, a virgin line that was on climbers’ radar after Rolo Garibotti noted on his website that someone should go climb it. We approached Filo del Hombre Sentado from the north, and without a doubt the crux of the route was the approach. We did part of this traverse unroped, then followed a diagonal line left of an area threatened by stonefall. This got us to the base of the pillar, where we bivouacked, leaving everything there so as to climb light. The climbing turned out to be excellent, with many cracks and wind-worn holes. We carried photos, so as not to lose the line in a labyrinth of cracks and dihedrals that surprised us until the end. We established rappel anchors down the route, which we called Destreza Criolla (500m, 6b+).
Luciano Fiorenza, Argentina, translated by Rolando Garibotti