American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Argentina and Chile, Torres Del Paine, Torre Norte, El Huscar de la Muerte

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2009

Torre Norte, El Husar de la Muerte. On January 30-31, 2009 Nicolas Gutierrez and I (both Chilean) opened a direct new line on the west side of the North Tower of Paine, north summit. It’s probably the first Chilean route on the three towers of Paine. We first climbed Peineta, by Durazno para Don Quijote, and attempted the South Tower. Then, after several days of bad weather, we left base camp at 4 a.m. and, after a six-hour approach, arrived at the base of the wall. We didn’t know what we wanted to do, but after studying the wall we decided on a clean dihedral between Caballo del Diablo and Adrenalina Vertical. The weather turned bad, very cold and windy. When we started climbing around 11 a.m., everything was covered with snow and ice. We had to clean verglas and ice from the cracks with our ice axe, and the climbing was slow. Our water froze. We climbed nine mixed pitches. At 1 a.m. we reached the north summit. Our fingers and feet were frozen. We descend by the same line of ascent.

We wanted to free-climb as much as possible, but the weather forced us to aid some sections. The route is on perfect granite and will easily go free in good conditions. El Husar de la Muerte (500m, 5.10+ Al) is named in memory of a one of the founders of Chilean independence.

Francisco Rojas Mix, DAV Chile

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