South America, Chilean and Argentine Patagonia, Cerro Catedral del Paine

Publication Year: 1971.

Cerro Catedral del Paine. On January 9, 1971 Chris Jackson, Guy Lee, Dave Nicol, Bob Shaw, Bob Smith and I of the British Patagonia Expedition made the first ascent of Cerro Catedral in the Paine group. We followed the west ridge and made the ascent in one push from an ice cave below the south face of the mountain. It was mostly ridge climbing and ropes were left to safeguard the difficult descent. We used no fixed ropes on the ascent except for two lengths to gain the ridge low down via the south face. There were 21 roped pitches and difficulty was UIAA V+, A2. We left the ice cave at four A.M. and reached the summit at six P.M. By this time it was snowing and a strong wind was blowing. The descent was trying due to this wind and spin-drift and we regained the ice cave at 11:30 P.M. All six members of the expedition made the ascent. The next day we were stormbound in the ice cave but managed to get down on January 11. In a season of bad weather, the day of the climb was the best we had had since December 1.

Roger Whewell, Rucksack Club