German alpinist Fabi Buhl, 29, recently climbed the Ragni route up the west face of Cerro Torre and then paraglided off the summit. Buhl is the first climber to paraglide from the summit without using a helicopter to reach the top.
He climbed it with Laura Tiefenthaler and Raphaela Haug, who helped to carry his Susi 3 16m2 AirDesign paraglider. Along with a French team, they were the first up the classic route this season and kept busy clearing heavy rime. Buhl bivied below the summit and took off at dawn to avoid thermal winds with a tangled line. It took him 17 minutes to fly to the Torre Glacier below.
In 1988, Michael and Matthias Pinn flew from the top of Fitz Roy after climbing Supercanaleta. They then paraglided from the top of Cerro Torre after getting a ride to the top in a helicopter. In 1991, Roman Tschurtschenthaler also paraglided from the top of Cerro Torre after a helicopter lift.
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Yesterday morning, before the sun peeked over the horizon, and while most of us were asleep, @fabi_buhl pulled this off!! . Fabi is the first person to fly off the summit of Cerro Torre after climbing up it (more historic details later). Together with @laura_tiefenthaler and @raphaela.haug, they climbed the Ragni route, cleaning copious amounts of rime as they “re-opened” the route during the first ascent of the season. Working with a French team composed by Christoph, JB and Matthieu, they “opened” (cleaned) all but the last 15 meters of the final pitch. . Fabi chose to fly off very early in the morning so as to avoid thermal exchange winds. The take-off was not without excitement. As he took the first steps, he realized that one of the lines was tangled, but he knew that if he stopped, he would have a hard time recovering psyche to try again, so he kept running, hoping the line would untangle as he loaded the glider (it did not). After a 17 minute flight, he landed on the Torre Glacier, in the vicinity of the “nunatak”. He wished he would have stayed in the air longer, but his hands got quite cold (the freezing line was at 2000m). . Thirty one years ago, in 1988, Matthias and Michael Pinn climbed the Supercanaleta and flew off the summit of Cerro Fitz Roy. Four days later, together with Uwe Passler they climbed the Compressor route, again carrying their paragliders, but were unable to fly off the summit due to poor weather. A week later they hitchhiked a ride back to the summit in a helicopter, and all three flew off. In 1991, Roman Tschurtschenthaler also hitchhiked a ride to the summit in a helicopter, and flew off. . Huge congrats to Fabi, and kudos to the Pinn brothers, whose 1988 climb-and-fly of Cerro Fitz Roy, and vision, was well ahead of it’s time. . Fabi flew an @airdesignparagliders Susi 3 16m2 . #cerrotorre #paragliding #patagonia #climbandfly
Many top climbers are currently in Patagonia, including Brette Harrington, Colin Haley, Alex Honnold, Quentin Roberts and others.
The Patagonia season has been plagued with poor conditions and small weather windows, but it seems things might be improving which will give climbers a chance to go for their bigger projects.