American alpinist Colin Haley has made the first solo ascent of Torre Egger in Southern Patagonia, Argentina - also managing tick off the first solo ascent of Punta Herron along the way. Torre Egger is widely regarded as the hardest of the Torre Group and is the spire which sees the least ascents, first climbed in 1976 by Americans John Bragg, Jim Donini, and Jay Wilson.
Colin began his ascent by traversing across the East Face of Cerro Standhardt, then made multiple abseils towards the notch between Standhardt and Punta Herron. He joined the last pitch of Tobogán and followed this up to the col, then climbed Spigolo dei Bimbi to the summit of Punta Herron. After abseiling to the col between Herron and Torre Egger, he climbed to the summit via the Huber-Schnarf Route up the North Face.
Reporting on his Facebook page, Colin explained:
"In November 2010 I made the first solo ascent of Aguja Standhardt. From that moment on, Torre Egger became the focus of my soloing aspirations.
"Yesterday everything finally came together: The weather was beautiful, the conditions pretty good, I'm a much better climber than I was five years ago, and I felt no apprehension. I left the Noruegos bivouac at about 12:45, and arrived on the summit of Torre Egger about sixteen and a half hours later, having also made the first solo ascent of Punta Herron in the process. The ascent went faster and more smoothly than I had ever hoped for. The descent, on the other hand, was a bit of an epic, but that's another story."
Colin's descent involved his abseil rope becoming stuck, resulting in him having to try for almost two hours to free the line.
Summing up his achievement, Colin wrote:
"I'm sure that yesterday's climb is among the very best climbing accomplishments I have made in my life thus far. Very tired, very stoked."
Colin has now made the first solo ascent of three of the four peaks in the Torre Group - having made the first solo ascent of Cerro Standhardt in 2010.