D'Artagnan, new route on Cerro Domo Blanco in Patagonia by David Gladwin, Kim Ladiges and Ben Erdmann
In December 2013 David Gladwin, Kim Ladiges and Ben Erdmann established D'Artagnan (7a,C1, M6) up the Los tres Mosqueteros, Cerro Domo Blanco in Patagonia.
An international trio comprised of David Gladwin from the UK, Kim Ladiges from Tasmania and Ben Erdmann from Alaska has climbed a fine line up the previously unclimbed pillar they called Los tres Mosqueteros next to Cerro Domo Blanco in the Piergiorgio / Pollone massif in Patagonia.
Gladwin, Ladiges and Kristoffer Szilas crossed the Marconi glacier from El Chalten with their sights set on climbing a route up the North Face of Cerro Domo Blanco which currently hosts only one route, established by Jonathan Copp and Dylan Taylor in 2002. As they made their way to the base of the face though they spotted and "unclimbed unnamed pillar to the right" and quickly opted for this. 9 pitches, described by Gladwin as "some of the most beautiful splitter cracks I have ever seen" led to the final mixed pitch which thwarted their initial attempt as they had only taken rock shoes. Two days later an unexpedected weather window gave Gladwin and Ladiges the chance to return, this time without Kristoffer Szilas but with Ben Erdmann, for the second, successful attempt and the trio breached difficulties up to 7a,C1, M6 to reach the summit.
Gladwin explained "The climbing was sustained hand to finger cracks and corners which we followed to a ledge just below the summit. We did one section of C1 aid and 1 pendulum connecting a crack to a corner on pitch 8, then followed this to the ledge. From here it is great bit of Scottish VI/VII or M6 and C1 which was pouring with water. Two of us summited and then after pouring water out of boots and wringing out clothes we spent the descent generally suffering in the cold slurring words and forgetting simple things. We arrived back a camp very relieved 19 hours after setting off."
"We named the summit Los Tres Mousqueteros, the three musketeers in Spanish as there are three obvious mini peaks which make up the summit. The face had been attempted by Fernando Irrazabal from Argentinia and Eneko and Iker Pou from Spain but they bailed just under half height. We named the route D'Artagnan after the 4th musketeer as we bailed on our first attempt and our partner couldn't join us on the second successful ascent!"
Thanks to Montane and MBC for their support