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Ralf Weber climbing, belayed by Stephan Siegrist, up the final rock pitch prior to the summit ice of the route Exocet.
Photo by visualimpact.ch / Thomas Senf
Ralf Weber climbing the first pitch of the Exocet route, belayed by Stephan Siegrist.
Photo by visualimpact.ch / Thomas Senf
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Cerro Standhardt winter success for Siegrist, Senf and Weber

16.08.2012 by Planetmountain

Stephan Siegrist, Thomas Senf and Ralf Weber have successfully climbed Cerro Stanhardt, the northermost summit of Patagonia's Cerro Torre group, in winter and in alpine style via the classic Exocet route.

After an initial attempt abandoned due to blustery winds, the trio set off on 30 July to reach the Bridwell Camp from where they continued the next day to the Niponino Camp and on to Col Standhart where the Exocet route begins.

Deep snow and hard ice covered the rock face and cracks making progress far slower and far more arduos than planned, and after another bivy and another strenuous climbing day with temperatures down to -20°C they reached the 2730m high summit in the dying hours of the day. Siegrist commented "As the sun set the full moon appears, what a sight!" The Swiss climbers bivied just below the summit mushroom in the "most beautiful bivouac ever" and then abseiled back down to the glacier on 2 August.

Siegrist is no newcomer to winter ascents in the Cerro Torre mountain chain: in July 1999 he made the first winter ascent of the West Face of Cerro Torre via the Ferrari route together with Thomas Ulrich, David Fasel and Greg Couch, while in August 2010 Siegrist made the first winter ascent of Torre Egger by climbing the route Titanic along with Dani Arnold and Thomas Senf. As such he is the first to have climbed these three outstanding main peaks in winter.

Cerro Standhardt's Exocet route was first in climbed 1988 by the Americans Jim Bridwell, Greg Smith and Jay Smith. Two years later it received its first winter ascent at the hands of the Austrians Tommy Bonapace and Toni Ponholzer, while the first solo was carried out in 2010 by American alpinist Colin Haley.

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