American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Chilean and Argentine Patagonia, Cerro Rincón

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1972

Cerro Rincón, Fitz Roy Group. This unclimbed peak (49°16' S; 73° 10' W) lies some 10 miles from Fitz Roy at the western end of the granite intrusion which forms Fitz Roy, Cerro Torre and Pier Giorgio. The main summit (8136 feet) is of ice fortified by ice mushrooms, against which lie several granite needles. The mountain had been unsuccessfully attempted in 1965, twice in 1966 and in 1970; these expeditions failed on the northeast glacier, where all headed for the Portezuelo Cuadrado on the left of the peak and went too far into the center or left, where the glacier is heavily crevassed. Our group consisted of Ismael Palma, Fernando Bosch, Alfredo Fragueiro and me. Because of the weather of the region, we planned a lightning attack from a camp just below the final wall. We flew from Buenos Aires to Río Gallegos on February 13 and reached Base Camp at Piedra del Fraile on the Río Fitz Roy on the 17th. We ascended on February 19 the eight-mile-long, crevassed Glaciar Marconi on its right side to the Morro couloir, where we turned 90° to the south to reach the foot of the west face of Pier Giorgio, where we camped. On the 20th we gained 2300 feet on the northeast glacier, which we climbed on its right side; there we waited out two more days of snowstorm in a snow cave. On February 23 Palma and I crossed the bergschrund at its left end and climbed the couloir. We then turned a little left to gain the ridge in order to avoid snow sloughs (it continued to snow hard), but we went back onto the face to avoid the wind. We regained the ridge between the third and fourth mushrooms; the fourth is the summit. We also climbed the sharp subsidiary peak, 150 yards to the west. We reached the summit at two P.M., having gained 1500 feet; the slope was up to 60° around the mushrooms. The weather, which had been stormy since our arrival in the region, began to improve at noon. We were back at the snow cave at nine P.M. The weather was fine on the return trip.

CARLOS COMESAÑA, Centro Andino Buenos Aires

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