American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Cerro Torre, bolt-less ascent of Corkscrew

Argentina, Chaltén Massif

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Author: Colin Haley, Seattle, ACC
  • Climb Year: 2013
  • Publication Year: 2013

From January 24–26, 2013, Chad Kellogg and I made the second ascent of Cerro Torre’s Corkscrew route: a link-up that climbs the first two-thirds of the southeast ridge, traverses across the hanging icefield on the upper south face, and then finishes on the 1974 Ragni di Lecco route. The first ascent of the Corkscrew was made in November 2008, by Ole Lied and Trym Atle Saeland.

On January 24, we leisurely climbed to a bivouac at the Col de la Paciencia. On the 25th we climbed the Corkscrew route in under 24-hours round-trip from the col, descending via the southeast ridge.

While Ole and Trym had been forced onto the Compressor Route’s then-existing bolt ladders by bad conditions, Chad and I were able to climb the southeast ridge directly, without using the bolts, thanks to excellent rock climbing conditions. I highly recommend this route. It is among Cerro Torre’s moderates (speaking relatively, of course), and allows one to climb most of the classic terrain on both the southeast ridge and the Ragni route. For us, the difficulties of the Corkscrew were 5.10 A1 AI4+.

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