American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Cerro Morado, Northeast Ridge, Filo Contigo

Chile - Argentina, Central Andes

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Author: Pedro Binfa
  • Climb Year: 2015
  • Publication Year: 2016

At the end of April, Pablo Miranda and I left Santiago with the idea of finishing a project on Cerro Morado (4,647m). We hoped to ascend the unclimbed northeast ridge on this beautiful mountain’s principal summit.

[Editor’s note: Cerro Morado is a twin-summited peak. Its main (north) summit was first reached in 1941 up a glacier on its southeast side (Foerster-Hein-Sattler). The subsidiary (south) summit (ca 4,480m), well known for its 900m south-facing big wall, was first climbed in 1934 (Melschner-Melschner) and it’s steep south face was climbed in 1961 (Tangol-Vasquez, 1961). The mountain is home to many other steep, long, and difficult rock and ice climbs. See past AAJs, chilemountains.info/morado, or andeshandbook.org for more information.]

On April 24 we started the approach, which took much longer than anticipated. Around 3 p.m. we started climbing the ridge, just right of the 2007 Fainberg-Farias Route, via some easy fourth- and fifth-class terrain. We finished the day with a short section of 50° ice. That night we slept on a little ledge and waited for the sun to hit us in the morning before continuing.

On the second day we simul-climbed until reaching a short section of 5.9 rock, where I belayed Pablo. After this, we continued simul-climbing, and a few hours later we were standing on the summit. After pictures and hugs we started the descent via the normal glacier route on the southeast side.

The descent took longer than expected due to late-season snow and glacier conditions. We made the decision to stop once it got late, spending one more night on the mountain. We reached our car around noon the next day. We call our route Filo Contigo (1,000m, 5.9 50°)

– Pedro Binfa, Chile

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