Corrado “Korra” Pesce of Italy is awaiting rescue after being caught in an avalanche in Patagonia where he suffered serious injuries. He and mountain guide Tommy Aguilo had reportedly climbed a new route on Cerro Torre and were descending at the time. Aguilo secured Pesce and rappelled to call for help using his InReach. According to Aguilo, Pesce suffered serious fractures including a broken pelvis.
Update Jan. 30: A source in Patagonia informed us that the avalanche was in fact a collapsing rime ice mushroom that released from high above Pesce and Aguilo. In it was snow, ice and pieces of rock.
A rescue operation with dozens of people, including German climber Thomas Huber and Spanish brothers Iker and Eneko Pou, assisted in getting Aguilo to safety, but the rescue for Pesce has been temporarily called off.
The latest update from an Italian news source reads: “A new update from Now Calafate makes you lose all hope. With pleasure we learn that the army helicopter managed this morning to evacuate Thomas, handing him over at Calafate airport to an ambulance who transferred him to the hospital. ‘He’s injured and has several fractures, but he’s lucid and hasn’t lost consciousness at any time. Unfortunately, in the meantime it was decided to stop the rescue operations, aimed at recovering Corrado Pesce in the English Box, due to the rapidly deteriorating weather and the low probability of survival for the mountaineer.”
The area where Pesce is located is very dangerous and difficult to access. In prohibitive weather conditions and taking into account the severity of the injuries sustained, it was deemed appropriate to abandon all attempts. Pesce will remain on Cerro Torre until the weather improves.
The Pou brothers posted about the situation on Instagram in Spanish. The Google translation reads: It seems that unfortunately the worst news about the accident at Cerro Torre has been confirmed. The information given by Tomy Aguiló after his evacuation to the El Calafate hospital would confirm that in the avalanche suffered (there must have been several in recent days due to the high temperatures…) both lost all their bivouac equipment in addition to much of the material and who also suffered serious injuries in which Korra Pesce would have taken the worst part… The attempts to reach the climb have been unsuccessful given the adverse weather in the area and the fall of stones and ice, and this area of Argentina unfortunately does not have a helicopter specialized in this type of rescue, so it has been decided to suspend the operative…😔 From here all our thanks to all the institutions involved, to all the volunteers, of course to the El Chalten Relief Commission, and now all we have to do is digest this news in the best possible way, which is not a small thing. All our love for Korra, for her family, for her friends and a big hug for Italian mountaineering, with whom we have an unbeatable relationship, and which has recently received very bad news… From my heart, much love to all ❤️
In 2016, Pesce made the much sought-after second ascent of Psycho Vertical, a 950-metre 6b A3 M8 on the south east face of Torre Egger in Patagonia with Aguilo, Roland Striemitzer, Iñaki Coussirat and Carlitos Molina.
We’ll update this story once we hear any news from Patagonia about this situation.