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Doctor Killed by Rockfall Climbing in Patagonia

This is the fifth death of a climber in Patagonia this season alone

The makings of a tragic season in Patagonia has continued with yet another death, this time of Marcos Gorostiaga, a 28-year-old doctor from Bariloche. He’s the fifth climber to die this season, which is a record number.

While there has been so much to celebrate this year in Patagonia, from epic solos to new routes, the accomplishments of many are being overshadowed with a sense of sadness and confusion. Why are so many climbers dying?

Gorostiaga was climbing Cerro Mocho when a falling rock hit him. The army sent a helicopter after being notified by Gorostiaga’s partner’s rescue call, but Gorostiaga was dead. The Cumbres Mountain Magazine was the first to report on the incident.

Earlier this season, Christoph Klein of Switzerland fell to his death near Cerro Standhart, American Cassy Doolittle died of hypothermia after soloing Aguja Guillaumet. And two weeks ago, an avalanche carried Basque climbers Iker Bilbao and Amaia Aguirre into a crevasse during their descent of Fitz Roy.

While there is a small rescue team at Comision de Auxilio¬† in El Chalten, the team has been overworked and lacks resources, such as a helicopter. To read more about the tragic season in Patagonia, read this op-ed we published last week: Climbers Are Dying in Patagonia and It Seems Different Than Before. Our condolences to Gorostiaga’s family and friends.

Marcos Gorostiaga


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