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Mayan Smith-Gobat climbing 'Riders on the Storm', Torres del Paine, Patagonia
Photo by Drew Smith
Mayan Smith-Gobat and Brette Harrington below the Cenral Tower of Paine which hosts the climb 'Riders on the Storm', Torres del Paine, Patagonia
Photo by Drew Smith
Riders on the Storm, Torres del Paine, Patagonia, first climbed in 1991 by the Germans Norbert Bätz, Peter Dittrich, Bernd Arnold, Wolfgang Güllich and Kurt Albert, with the variant discovered in 2016 by Mayan Smith-Gobat and Ines Papert
Photo by Franz Walter
Brette Harrington climbing 'Riders on the Storm', Torres del Paine, Patagonia
Photo by Drew Smith

Riders on the Storm at Torres del Paine in Patagonia: the 2017 attempt of Brette Harrington, Mayan Smith-Gobat, Drew Smith

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The video of Brette Harrington, Mayan Smith-Gobat and Drew Smith in 2017 attempting to make the first free ascent of Riders on the Storm, the world famous big wall on Torre Central in the Torres del Paine massif in Patagonia.

In January 2017 Brette Harrington, Mayan Smith-Gobat and Drew Smith attempted to complete the first free ascent of Riders on the Storm, the hugely famous route on the East Face of Torre Central in the Torres del Paine massif in Patagonia. Pioneered over a stormy three-week period in late 1990 and early 1991 by the Germans Kurt Albert, Bernd Arnold, Norbert Bätz, Peter Dittrich and Wolfgang Güllich, the 1000m line is considered a true crown jewel of big wall climbing in Patagonia.

Originally graded VI 5.12d A3, the route was repeated in 2006 by Nicolas Favresse, Olivier Favresse, Sean Villanueva, Mike Lecomte and Philippe Ceulemans. Although the strong Belgians ultimately failed to free the line, they did make significant headway and important new free sections were deciphered.

In 2016 Ines Papert, Mayan Smith-Gobat and Thomas Senf free climbed new sections up to 7c+ and discovered a detour to surpass the infamous blank wall, but bad weather set in and they did not get a chance to free this variation. As mentioned, Smith-Gobat returned with Brette Harrington and Drew Smith the following season.

Harrington explains "Our attempt resulted in five weeks of grueling effort to get the rope up the wall. We encountered constant storms of snow, and 100km/h winds. Using ice climbing and aid tactics, we arrived at the five pitch variation, and had just two days of good weather to work on freeing them.

I discovered a hanging corner, with a technical slab which I equipped with a single bolt and a piton. While Mayan and I both managed to do all the moves on all the pitches, we did not have the chance to complete them due to ensuing storms.

We hope to come back to the climb but there has been significant rock fall down the line over the past three years. Due to the warming and variable climate, it is currently not safe to return."

TOPO: Riders on the Storm, Torres del Paine, Patagonia

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NEWS / Related news:
Torres del Paine in Patagonia: Riders on the Storm too stormy for Mayan Smith-Gobat and Brette Harrington
21.02.2017
Torres del Paine in Patagonia: Riders on the Storm too stormy for Mayan Smith-Gobat and Brette Harrington
Mayan Smith-Gobat and Brette Harrington have abandoned their attempt at make the first free ascent of Riders on the Storm, the famous big wall up the Central Paine Tower in Patagonia, due to terrible weather.
Riders on the Storm video of Ines Papert and Mayan Smith-Gobat in Patagonia
20.05.2016
Riders on the Storm video of Ines Papert and Mayan Smith-Gobat in Patagonia
The video of Riders on the Storm on the Central Tower of the Torres del Paine in Patagonia, repeated at the start of 2016 by Mayan Smith-Gobat, Ines Papert and accompanied by Thomas Senf.
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25.04.2016
Riders on the Storm Torres del Paine, Mayan Smith-Gobat and Ines Papert in Patagonia videos
Four videos documenting the repeat of Riders on the Storm on the Central Tower of the Torres del Paine in Patagonia, carried out by Mayan Smith-Gobat, Ines Papert and accompanied by Thomas Senf.
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Over a 15-day period from 16 January to 20 February Ines Papert, Mayan Smith-Gobat and Thomas Senf repeated Riders on the Storm (7c+, A2, 1300m), the iconic multi-pitch rock climb up the Central Tower of the Torres del Paine in Patagonia. Although some sections were climbed with the use of aid, new variants were discovered thus coming one step closer to the sought-after first free ascent of one of Patagonia's crown jewels.
Belgians repeat Riders on the Storm, Patagonia
17.02.2006
Belgians repeat Riders on the Storm, Patagonia
A strong young Belgian team comprised of Nicolas Favresse, Olivier Favresse, Seán Villanueva, Mike Lecomte and Philippe Ceulemans has made a rare repeat of Riders on the Storm, situated in the Torres del Paine and undoubtedly one of the crown jewels in Patagonia's repertoire of classic climbs.

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