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Americans Climb New Patagonia Spire

Colin Haley recently spent time in a rarely-visited part of Patagonia on the border of Chile and Argentina. Haley, fresh from a summer in the Canadian Rockies, has made a number of trips to South America, but this is his first into the Cerro San Lorenzo massif.

The mountains of Cerro San Lorenzo have near-permanent clouds, which guard the summit from view. The clouds are a result of strong westerly winds, the mountains are very high compared to what’s around and the peaks are between two continental ice caps: the Hielo Norte and the Hielo Sur. The mountain tops can see up to 4,000 mm of precipitation, usually snow, per year. The result are peaks which resemble large cakes smeared with thick icing The east faces are some of the biggest, unclimbed walls in Patagonia. “This is where the future lies,” wrote Rolando Garibotti.

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Cerro San Lorenzo on Pata Climb

Haley, known for his cutting-edge climbs, wrote this on his public Facebook page, “Back in civilization now, after three weeks trying to climb in the Cerro San Lorenzo massif. We carried a lot of heavy packs, experienced a lot of bad weather, and saved the trip with one great day of climbing.”

Haley in the Rockies

The route Haley and Rob Smith climbed on Nov. 21, was a “small” tower southeast of the San Lorenzo massif. They named their route Romance Explosion 5.10R M5R 500 metres. “Better ice conditions would’ve made for both a higher-quality climb and technically easier ascent, but we were quite happy to finally get a chance to climb,” wrote Haley.

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Colin Haley wrote this about his photo on Facebook: "The spire on the left is the one climbed by Rob Smith and myself on Nov. 21, and subsequently named Aguja Antipasto (with our route, Romance Explosion marked). Despite being of decent stature (the route is roughly 500 m of technical climbing, with a 500 m approach buttress), the name is a reference to our spire being dwarfed by the main course behind. The face of this unclimbed tower is at least 1,000 m, and I would guess more like 1,300 m. I have zero doubt that it is a more difficult face than the east face of Cerro Chalten (Fitz Roy). There are two very distinct summit towers. The most difficult unclimbed mountain in Patagonia?" Photo Colin Haley
Colin Haley wrote this about his photo on Facebook: “The spire on the left is the one climbed by Rob Smith and myself on Nov. 21, and subsequently named Aguja Antipasto (with our route, Romance Explosion marked). Despite being of decent stature (the route is roughly 500 m of technical climbing, with a 500 m approach buttress), the name is a reference to our spire being dwarfed by the main course behind. The face of this unclimbed tower is at least 1,000 m, and I would guess more like 1,300 m. I have zero doubt that it is a more difficult face than the east face of Cerro Chalten (Fitz Roy). There are two very distinct summit towers. The most difficult unclimbed mountain in Patagonia?” Photo Colin Haley

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