Cerro Torre West Face, the 2011 Patagonia season has begun
The 2011 "andesimo" season in Patagonia has begun in earnest with a great ascent of the rarely repeated West Face of Cerro Torre at the hands of Michael Lerjen-Demjen from Zermatt and Korra Pesce from Chamonix who chose to ascend the famous Ragni route (1500m, AI5+ M4 MI6 mushroom ice, Daniele Chiappa, Mario Conti, Casimiro Ferrari and Pino Negri 1974).
The two alpinists set off last Sunday from the Niponinos camp and, in poor weather conditions and light snowfall, passed Col Standhardt to reach the base of the West Face, where they set off at 2.00am up the snow slopes laden with snow. After the first crux - the so-called helmet - the two continued rapidly and reached the summit at 15.00. They abseiled off in worsen, Patagonian conditions and reached they gear stash 6 hours later. The next day they traversed the 42km across the Hielo Continental glacier to reach El Chalten, a pizza a a well-deserved beer.
While Cerro Torre is Pesce's first Patagonian summit, Lerjen has ascended various peaks in this region: in 2010 he reached the summit of Cerro Fitz Roy via the Supercanaleta, followed by Aguilla dl S, Aguilla Poincenot, Torre Egger, Punta Herron and Aguilla Standhart. Two years previously he ascent Aguilla Guillamet via the Amy Couloir, while in 2007 he established a variation to Supercanaleta, No Brain No Pain (6c 65°) along with Claudio Inselvini.