Our first stop on the trip was the Torres del Paine National Park in Chile. We spent 3 days hiking loads into Campamento Torres at the head of the Ascencio Valley. Our main goal was the South African route on the MASSIVE east face of Torre Central. Unfortunately a heavy snow fall winter had formed a massive snow patch covering the intial pitches. Lesson learned-you have to be flexible in Patagonia! Hiked back around to the Silencio Valley for a free attempt on via delle mamma on the shorter but beautiful west face on Torre Central. This line is 20 pitches of SPLITTER cracks on a beautiful golden face. Unfortunately on our only weather window the bottom pitches were covered in rime ice and what should have been 5.6 was more like M-16! Hayden led these pitches in full Gasherbaum conditions, ice tools in hand and approach shoes! We also attempted Ultima Esperanza (V 5.11+) in full conditions! Alpine climbing constantly stresses the fact that it doesn't have to be fun to be fun!We did send Torre Norte by the Monzino route. We ran up the mixed climbing to the col and summitted from there in 56 minutes. What an awesome route and a great day to be in Patagonia.
(photos by Hayden Kennedy)