A SEASON IN PATAGONIA, 2018-2019 by Tomas Roy Aguilò

Published on 24/06/2019

During the month of November 2018, I made the first climbs of the season in Patagonia, working as a guide. On this occasion, I guided Nicolas from Switzerland, a client with a lot of experience and motivation.

First, we climbed Cerro Fitz Roy by the "Super Canaleta", along with my colleague Julian Casanova. The weather was exceptionally good, a lot of ice on the wall made the climbing a bit more demanding than normal.

Then it was the turn of El Cerro Torre for the "Ragni Route", west face. In this occasion, also with excellent weather, we reached the base of the last fungus, two pitches from the summit, but we had to go down due to the amount of frost.

Finally, we climbed the Aguja Poincenot on the "Williams ramp", this time accompanied by the Swiss colleague Pierre Darbellay.

By January 2019, we met with my friends Jorge Ackermann and Korrado Pesce, to try for the third time our great project on the North Face of Cerro Torre.

We started by taking the gear up to Noruegos, which is the Base Camp on the east face of the Torre.

In the first window, despite the strong wind blowing from the West, we climbed the first 6 pitches of a pillar at the base of the east face, looking for a more protected and aesthetic line, to be able to link it with the new line on the face north. We left the rimaye to be able to pass with greater speed.

In the second attempt, we did not have enough days to attack the summit, so we decided to climb 3 new pitches that we needed to connect with our attempt, where we left a deposit of gear. In the descent, we fixed the first 100 meters of the wall.

At last the precious window arrived, 4 good days but after a big snowfall, and with the temperature too high. We let the first 2 days pass so that the wall was cleaned a little, and we started climbing at 22:00 with the headlamps. We climbed for 16 hours Non-Stop until reaching the highest point reached in 2013, in the middle of the north face of Cerro Torre! The high temperatures made us stop, due to the fall of ice and water. After waiting for more than 6 hours hanging on the harnesses, on a vertical wall and under a large dihedral, at 20:00 we resumed the climb, 3 new longs left us on a narrow fungus where we could sleep a little, then 42 hours of activity. The wind increased at dawn, and we decided to go down, before it got worse.

Safe in the glacier, we are happy of our progress, despite not reaching the summit, we have only 5 pitches left, which will keep the dream alive for some more time ...


Article and pictures by Tomas Roy Aguilò, November 2018/ March 2019.

Tomas Roy Aguilò is a 35 years old mountain guide, in the Grivel team from 2018. He grew up in Patagonia, Argentina, where he practices Alpine Climbing, Sport Climbing, Ski Touring and Running.
Favorite Grivel products: G20 PLUS Crampons, North Machine Carbon ice axes, Alpha Captive quickdraws, Mountain Runner 20 backpack.