A First Ascent in Patagonia

Four Chilean climbers have made the first ascent of the imposing north face of Mount Huinay in Patagonia. Nicolas Gutiérrez, Pancho Herrera, Sebastián Rojas, and Hernán Rodríguez found a direct route up the 1,300m face and took six days and 25 pitches to top out.

The 1,300m north face. Photo: Pancho Herrera


Mount Huinay is situated in a remote stretch of the Chilean Los Lagos mountains. To avoid a week of hiking with heavy gear, the team hired a helicopter to their Base Camp.

On arrival, they were treated to consistent rain. Once the infamous Patagonia weather relented, the climb was relatively straightforward. Their route, named Füta Chao (“Great Father” in the local Mapuche language), has been graded 5.12, A2+.

The four climbers on the summit of Mount Huinay. Photo: Pancho Herrera

Martin Walsh is a freelance writer and wildlife photographer based in Da Lat, Vietnam. A history graduate from the University of Nottingham, Martin's career arc is something of a smörgåsbord. A largely unsuccessful basketball coach in Zimbabwe and the Indian Himalaya, a reluctant business lobbyist in London, and an interior design project manager in Saigon. He has been fortunate enough to see some of the world. Highlights include tracking tigers on foot in Nepal, white-water rafting the Nile, bumbling his way from London to Istanbul on a bicycle, feeding wild hyenas with his face in Ethiopia, and accidentally interviewing Hezbollah in Lebanon. His areas of expertise include adventure travel, hiking, wildlife, and half-forgotten early 2000s indie-rock bands.

Notify of
1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Eddy De Wilde
Eddy De Wilde
1 year ago

Goes to show that there are still big walls to be found and climbed. Good to see Chileans taking the prize in their own country. Thanks for reporting Martin (the man with the smorgasbord resume)