American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

La Aleta de Tiburón, El Filo la Aleta de Tiburón

Argentina-Chile, Northern Patagonia, Cochamó

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year: 2014
  • Publication Year: 2014

In January 2014, Florian Haenel (Germany), Austin Siadak (USA), and I made the first ascent of an unclimbed feature left of Pared del Tiempo. (At first, it appears to be part of Pared del Tiempo, but it is separate from that wall.) The lower part of this feature is largely unbroken by cracks, dihedral systems, or other lines of weakness, and the only path up the wall that didn’t appear rife with endless sections of hard hooking was a prominent arête starting left of a talus field. This trends left to join a prominent ridge on the southeast aspect (left side) of the wall. From the top one can summit Pared Atardecer on the left or Cerro Laguna on the right via 45 minutes of scrambling.

Over three days, we went ground-up on the route, bolting on lead by power and hand drill, and running out anything our cojones would allow. On a budget, I had settled for a fairly “Barbie” drill,which got us eight holes per battery at best. So we ended up doing more hand drilling and R/X climbing than any of us were really psyched on. We summited on the third day. All of our bolts had been drilled on lead, we had done minor cleaning, and the 11-pitch route had mostly 5.9–5.10+ climbing, but often run-out. The route was neither hard enough nor clean enough to appeal to stronger climbers, nor safe or clean enough to appeal to others. Our hope in the first place had been to establish a nice “beginner’s route,” so we decided to continue working on the line, making it safer and cleaner. We spent another three days on the route, simply working, and finally called it good when there were no more unreasonable run-outs.

We all believe this will clean up into a classic moderate line, and a good introduction for any visiting climber. We named the wall, which resembles a huge shark fin, La Aleta de Tiburón; the route is El Filo la Aleta de Tiburón (“The Shark’s Fin Ridge,” 525m, 5.10+).

Chris Kalman, USA

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