First ascents in Piritas Valley, Rio Turbio, Patagonia.
In February a small American team of climbers carried out a first ascent of Voces en la Noche, (V 5.11 A0) on Pirita Right in the remote Argentian Piritas Valley, Rio Turbio, while a Canadian team produced Todos los Caballos Lindos (5.11-) on Pirita Central.
In mid February the highly experienced Americans Josh Beckner, Jared Spaulding and Dave Anderson successfully made the first ascent of Voces en la Noche, up the north face of Pirita Right, a remote peak in the inaccessible Piritas Valley located in Patagonia on the Argentina - Chile border.
On their arrival in the valley the Americans learnt that just days previously an independent team of Canadians comprised of Paul McSorely, Will Stanhope and Andrew Querner had completed the traverse of the three main formations as well as adding Todos los Caballos Lindos (5.11-) to their main objective, the Central tower.
The Canadians however described a striking unclimbed line on the right tower and Beckner, Spaulding and Anderson therefore spent a week hauling gear to the base of this mountain. Their route initially followed a sweeping dihedral that turned out to be the crux of the climb (5.11). From there the team followed a series of cracks on the left side of the tower. When the crack system ended a short pendulum, the only section of aid, provided access to a splitter hand crack and another corner system. Due to the lengthy and complex approach, the trio was caught by darkness four pitches from the top and bivvied on a tiny ledge for the night. Fortunately the weather held and Beckner, Spaulding and Anderson topped out the next morning.
After one rappel down the south side of the formation the team was able to scramble around to the north and down climb (4th and easy 5th class) a series of complicated slabs, rappel across a snow field and returned to their high camp in 6 hours after summiting. Overall the Americans ascended 2,200 feet of roped climbing. The rock was excellent fine grained granite with a host of cracks systems mostly tips to hands in size.
The return back to civilisation proved almost as challenging as the climb itself and included a Tyrolean traverse and an adventurous paddle down Rio Turbio to Lago Puelo.
The trio named to route Voces en la Noche, V 5.11 A0 (Voices in the Night) for the unexplainable human voices heard by all the climbers during the ascent, most likely produced by the hundreds of waterfalls echoing throughout the valley.
Pirate Valley Expedition Argentina from David E. Anderson on Vimeo.