Patagonia, news from Fitz Roy, Cerro Torre, the Ragni and more
Fresh news from Patagonia: new routes on Fitz Roy (Flavio Daflon, Sergio Tartari and Luciano Fiorenza) and Aguja de l’S (Josh Huckaby and Mikey Schaefer); The Corkscrew on Cerro Torre climbed by Colin Haley and Chad Kellogg; an attempt currently underway on the West Face of Torre Egger (Matteo Della Bordella, Matteo Bernasconi and Luca Schiera); the exploration of the East Face of San Lorenzo (Roberto Iannilli, Luca D' Andrea, Massimo Massimiano and Lorenzo Nocco).
We admit, it's difficult to keep up-to-date with the latest developments of what promises to be a unique season in Patagonia, with a recent spate of repeats and first ascents without parallels. What follows is a selection of some of the most relevant ascents which add to those reported previously, for all other climbs check out Rolando Garibotti's pataclimb.com.
A new route has been added to the highest peak in this massif, the enormous Fitz Roy, thanks to Brazialians Flavio Daflon and Sergio Tartari and the highly active Argentine alpinist Luciano Fiorenza who established Samba do Leao in alpine style over a three day period. The new route starts to the left of Tehuelche and crosses Afanassieff up high for a total of 30 pitches, 28 of which up virgin territory, with difficulties never exceeding 6c.
On Cerro Torre Colin Haley and Chad Kellogg recently opted for the link-up called The Corkscrew, the enchainment of routes which first follows the SE arête and then moves onto the West Face and finishes up the Ragni route via a long exposed traverse across the South Face. This logical line was first climbed in its entirely by Ole Lied and Atle Saeland in 2008 and unlike the two Norwegians, who due to rime ice made use of circa 70m of the bolts on Maestri's Compressor route, Haley and Kellogg succeeded without the removed bolts and their ascent is now defined as a new "by fair means" ascent. Precise ascent details are still missing but this is certainly another great example of Haley's talent; only recently he abandoned an excellent attempt at repeating the beautiful Venas Azules, the superb route up Torre Egger first climbed by Bjørn-Eivind Årtun and Ole Lied. Haley and Jon Walsh were forced to bail only 2 and a half pitches shy of the summit due to a sudden storm.
Aguja de l’S
This nice little peak in the Fitz Roy group saw American action at the hands of Josh Huckaby and Mikey Schaefer who put up Carne y Papas, a route which follows an obvious series of cracks between The Gentlemen's Club and The Wormhole Theory with difficulties up to 7a+ and A0.
The three strong Italian Ragni di Lecco climbers Matteo Della Bordella, Matteo Bernasconi and Luca Schiera are poised for another attempt up their difficult Torre Egger project. First attempted in the 2010/2011 season, their Die another Day takes a nigh 1000m line up the virgin West Face and last year Bernasconi and Della Bordella had been forced to abandon ship just below Colle Lux, the col that separates Punta Herron from Torre Egger. Bordella, Bernasconi and Schiera have now made the most of a short weather window and repeated Festerville on Aguja Standhardt near by. We're keeping our fingers crossed that the next cumbre is... the right one!
A small, lightweight exploratory expedition comprised of Roberto Iannilli, Luca D'Andrea, Massimo Massimiano and Lorenzo Nocco has made its way to the base of the immense East Face of San Lorenzo. This area is little known and difficult to reach, right in the heart of an "ultra-protected" park (for which the team received a regular climbing permit). This promises to be a great trip, in a difficult, grandiose environment far removed from the "usual" destinations. The rock face has all the makings of being a tough nut to crack... All updates on the planetmountain.com forum.