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South America, Chile, Chilean Patagonia, Torres del Paine, Various Ascents

Torres del Paine, Various Ascents. In early March I traveled to Paine, took advantage of a good spell of weather and went with several friends to a base camp below Cuerno Chico. Several new routes have been done here this season, on Cuerno Chico and Cuerno Este. On Cuerno Este: Pakalbotan (5.10+ Al), by Koky Castenada (Peru) and Sergio Echeverría; six pitches were repeated on the southeast buttress in mid-February. Tropicana, seven pitches, 5.10, to the right of Pakalbotan, by Koky Castenada and Margie Jenkins (Tasmania), in late February. Gatobela, three pitches and scrambling (5.6), to the left of Pakalbotan, by Koky and Daniela Benavente. On Cuerno Chico: Carlito’s Way, on the southeast buttress (5.9), great route, first ascent by Charlie Fowler, Koky, and Nacho Grez (Chile). Solo Paula (5.8), FA: Eric Mueller and Hernan Jofre (Chileans). It parallels Carlito’s Way to the right, and looks great. Both routes were done in early March. Other Paine stuff: Steph Davis* and I did, on December 27, the regular route on Torre Norte. Durazno Para Don Quijote (IV 5.10 + Al, 10 pitches) was climbed on the southwest buttress of Peineta, by Guy Edwards and Sean Isaac from Canada. Sean and Guy established this route on sight, in one day, with no fixed line.

It’s a $100 per person fee to climb in Paine for foreign climbers ($50 per person for Chileans), good for whatever time frame/itinerary you apply for**. Unlike the report in last year’s AAJ, the park people were very friendly and cooperative.

Charlie Fowler, unaffiliated

*Recipient of an AAC Mountaineering Fellowship Fund award.

**Our Chilean friends advise climbers to tell officials they plan to spend two months or more on a climb to avoid repeated Park entrance fees.