Between Argentina and Chile, it’s been a cold and wet season in Patagonia. Many strong climbers have visited and left after weeks without a send. Often, it is because their objectives need more than a one or two day weather window. But, if you’re willing to aim for shorter routes or easier climbs, then there are plenty of lines you can get up. Squamish-based Will Stanhope and American Jesse Huey made it to the top of Torre del Paine’s North Tower.
Alarm started beeping at 3AM. We crawled of the Bonington Boulder (named after legendary British climber Chris Bonington; Don Whillans and Chris made the FA of the Central Tower in '63?) after firing back 2.5 cups of coffee apiece. Marched for a couple hours under blue skies. Frigid at the base of North Tower. @jessehuey was already jogging to the rock and racking up before I could say "maybe a bit cold, dude?" He proceeded to lead a bunch of 5.10 in approach shoes and gloves at breakneck speed. Around mid height the rock turned to red varnished granite perfection – the type @paulmcsorley raved about for years. At the tippy top the wind started gusting hard. The raps went smoothly thank jah. At the base it was spitting fat droplets. At the Bonington Boulder we drank another cup of joe… Back at tree line (Japanese camp) we drained the last couple fingers of Vat 69 scotch out of a plastic Fanta bottle. I conked out, paperback in hand, reading Unbroken, Louis Zamperini''s mind boggling story or WW2 survival. Great day boss @jessehuey @fiveten_official @metoliusclimbing @maximropes @arcteryx
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Sonnie Trotter from Canmore and Quebec crusher Sam Lambert made the likely second ascent of La Media Docena 5.11, which was first climbed by Jorge Ackermann, Tomas Aguilo and Nicolas Benedetti in 2014. For other Patagonia news, visit Patagonia Vertical. Major ascents from the 2016/17 season include the second winter ascent, second solo ascent and first winter solo ascent of Torre Egger via a link-up on the east side by B.C. crusher Marc-Andre Leclerc. The first integral and free ascent of Titanic by Leclerc supported by American Austin Siadak. And the first solo and first winter ascent of Cerro Pollone up the south face by Austrian Markus Pucher.
This dorky selfie summit throwback is from two days ago when I topped my very first Patagonia climb with Sam Lambert. 'La Media Docena' Approximately 8 pitches up to 5.11+R without any fixed gear or bolted stations – kinda scary but mostly fun 😜 (possible second ascent?) Happy to begin our rappels and re-hydrate. It's POURING rain here today in Chalten and I only have 5 days left 😥 must start planning my return trip already 👍 #vidapatagonia #dorks #boldleadsam
Listen to Gripped editor Brandon Pullan talk with Huey, Raphael Slawinski and Ian Welsted about their 2013 K6 West expedition below.