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Cerro Castillo, Torreón Chala (North Tower)

Cerro Castillo is a rocky massif located outside of Aysén, Chile. It contains a central tower surrounded by various other needles and black rock, which is where it derives its name. When viewed from the Carretera Austral, the interesting topography makes it hard to forget the towers.

On November 28 Manuel Medina and I, born and bred in Chilean Patagonia, traveled to Cerro Castillo, 100km south of Coyhaique, to attempt the unclimbed north tower, Torreón Chala. We began the climb on the 29th. The climbing was difficult and delicate because of the rock quality. We had to negotiate the labyrinth that the mountain presented us, as is common in the Cordillera Castillo, and summited at 12:45 p.m: Si Mato Truco y Si Mata Quiero (370m, D+ III 5.10).

The nearby towers in this astonishing setting are waiting for climbers to reach their summits.

[Editor’s note: In October 2012, Franco Cayupi, Pablo Miranda, and Daniel Zapata made an additional ascent of a large tower northwest of Cerro Castillo: Cerro Facon (5.8 80°). Further details are currently lacking.]

Pablo Miranda, translated by Marcello Scanu