British climbers Jon Griffith and Will Sim are currently in Patagonia and have climbed the East Face Route on Cerro Piergiorgio.
The route was first climbed using fixed ropes. The pair of Brits made what is thought to be the second ascent and they climbed it alpine style in a day, wading through deep powder for 6.5 hours to gain the base of the climb.
"The fresh snow fall really slowed us down and by the time we neared the start of the climb it became almost impossible to wade through it. Nevertheless, a sweaty 6 1/2 hours later and the approach was over. Above us the route revealed itself and it looked awesome." commented Jon.
The route had one pitch of aid (A1) and a crux of Scottish grade 7:
"The second pitch was the aid pitch. Two thin cracks cut through the vertical granite wall above providing good gear placements and a pretty fast aid pitch... The third pitch formed the crux at a bold Scottish 7 for a few moves at the top. Starting up some rather awkward moves and you get lead into the depths of a rotting chimney with a thin ice smear on one of the walls at the top. The crux moves are transferring onto the ice where the feet suddenly run out and you find yourself campusing up on very thin ice in a very narrow squeeze." commented Jon.
The team had previously climbed the classic route of Exocet on the same day that Colin Haley soloed it (UKC News), and hope to squeeze in one more route before heading back to Europe.
"All in all a pretty amazing day and we were glad for it. It turned out that our Plan B was quite a bit harder and longer than we had anticipated but it felt really great to head out into the unknown like that and get our second route done in Patagonia already. We are off on Sunday but it looks like there might be one more chance to climb on Friday, fingers crossed." said Jon.
Hopefully Jon will be able to avoid ripping his nose open on the next route (see photo)!
- Full story and more photos on Jon's blog: www.alpineexposures.com
Jon Griffith is part of the UKClimbing Gear Review Team - see his reviews here: Jon Griffith UKC Reviews
Will Sim is sponsored by Marmot