Jardines Japoneses, new route on Aguja Mermoz, Patagonia
American alpinists Colin Haley, Mikey Schaefer and Jens Holsten have established "Jardines Japoneses," (650m AI4 M5 5.10 A1) on Aguja Mermoz in Patagonia.
The wait in Patagonia has paid dividends for Colin Haley: after his first solo of the Exocet route on Cerro Standhardt, on December 28 he established "Jardines Japoneses," (650m AI4 M5 5.10 A1) on Aguja Mermoz (2732m) in the Fitz Roy range together with fellow Americans Mikey Schaefer and Jens Holsten.
The trio climbed the obvious ice and mixed gully up the east face which Schaefer had spotted the previous year - and attempted unsuccessfully a few weeks ago. They joined the Argentine route on the north ridge and followed this to the summit, before abseiling off in very windy conditions and returning to Laguna de los Tres the same day.
Haley describes the route as having "...very enjoyable climbing, with all the good alpine ingredients: some ice climbing, some scrappy mixed climbing, some pendulums and makeshift aid climbing, and finally some rock climbing on excellent granite."
Furthermore, he believes the evident line is "a good addition to the range because it is climbable in conditions less-than-ideal for rock climbing (after you've climbed the Whillans on Poincenot, Amy on Guillaumet, Todo O Nada on Mocho and Exocet on Standhardt you start to run out of options for climbing in boots during mediocre weather)."
Last season Haley had soloed the Argentine Route (600m, 6a+, Héctor Cuiñas, Guillermo Vieiro and Fermín Olaechea, 1974) and the video of this ascent is published below.