Patagonia - The Corkscrew soloed, Torre Traverse and more...

Patagonia is not known for stable conditions and climbers visiting the mountains here speak of the elusive "weather window." However, in the last few weeks, a startling number of solos, traverses and first female ascents have been accomplished in marginally decent weather and testing conditions.

On his second trip to Patagonia, Marc-André Leclerc soloed the Corkscrew on Cerro Torre in snowy conditions with verglas present on the route. The Corkscrew is by far the hardest route soloed in the Cerro Torre and Marc-André's ascent was only the 7th of its kind. He climbed the route in a day - only belaying by back-looping - and descended via the southeast ridge.

Cerro Torre at Dawn, 156 kb
Cerro Torre at Dawn
© Robert Durran, Dec 2003

On the Torre Group, Colin Haley and Alex Honnold came close to making the second ascent of the Torre Traverse in one day. At around 3AM they reached the base of the second to last pitch of Cerro Torre, but wind picked up and after waiting two hours for conditions to improve, they decided to give up, rappelling the Via dei Ragni. 

Additionally, three weeks ago Colin did the Torre Traverse in reverse - La Travesía del Oso Buda (with Marc-André) - who two weeks ago climbed a new line on Cerro Torre (also with Marc-André) and a week later dispatched Punta Herron and Torre Egger with Alex.

The Torre Traverse
© Rolando Garibotti

On Cerro Torre, German climbers Christina Huber and Caroline North made the first female team ascent of the Via dei Ragni, climbing free and unsupported. Previously, the only other female team ascent of Cerro Torre had been done by Monika Kambic and Tanja Grmovsek back in 2005, when they climbed the Compressor Route. 

Also on the Cerro Torre side of the range, Slovenes Luka Lindic, Luka Krajnc and Tadej Krišelj traversed the Adelas and went on to climb the Via dei Ragni. 

On the other side of the valley, Brette Harrington made the second solo ascent and first free solo ascent of the classic Chiaro di Luna (750m 6b+) in three hours, becoming the first woman to solo any of the towers of the massif.

Source: Patagonia Vertical's Facebook page.

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