Climbing News From Patagonia

After sharing in the epic free-climb of ‘Riders on the Storm’ on the Central Tower of Torres del Paine, Siebe Vanhee headed to Chile’s Cochamo Valley in the Andes. Its U shape and 1,000m high granite walls recall Yosemite.

Vanhee went without any specific plan. He just wanted to climb some beautiful routes with his partner, Maria Mayor. They promptly did Todo Cambia, Dona Devora Dedos, and Al Centro y Adentro.

On that last route, Vanhee heard about a steep 11-pitch line with one 30m crack that was yet to be free-climbed. He quickly teamed up with two other climbers, Pau Valladares Pou and Luan Gaumann, and the trio free-climbed Entre Cristales y Condores (415m, 8a). It might be the first free ascent of the route, although they’re still awaiting confirmation. Thomas Gilmore and Kevin Hammer Heinrich did its first ascent just two years ago.

”You don’t often find a steep and clean crack like that, in such an exposed location,” wrote Vanhee on social media.

Siebe Vanhee, Pau Valladares Pou and Luan Gaumann.

Siebe Vanhee, Pau Valladares Pou, and Luan Gaumann. Photo: Siebe Vanhee


Vanhee praised his partners as ”two motivated young guys, the kind of guys who propose setting the alarm for 4:30 am when you suggest 5 am.”

Bad weather for Moonwalk

Thomas Huber, Jon Griffin, and Tad McCrea wanted to follow in the footsteps of Sean Villanueva O’Driscoll on the Moonwalk Traverse of Fitz Roy. The trio hiked to the base in cloud weather, to be ready to go when it cleared. But in the end, they were not lucky with the weather, said Huber. “We have to go along with nature and come up with a new plan,” he wrote.

Fitz Roy.

Fitz Roy. Photo: Tad McCrea


Accident on Cerro Torre

An accident occurred Monday afternoon on the east face of Cerro Torre, according to Patagonia Vertical. Jordon Griffler and Quentin Roberts were making their last rappel, just before the glacier, when an anchor ripped out. Both fell many meters, along with a block of stone weighing several hundred kilos.

Miraculously, the pair survived the fall, but the rock hit Griffler on the foot, broke open his boot, and seriously injured his ankle. Partly by crawling, he managed to reach Cerro Torre’s base camp at Niponino. Here, on Tuesday morning, an army helicopter evacuated him to the hospital.

Kris Annapurna

KrisAnnapurna is a writer with ExplorersWeb.

Kris has been writing about history and tales in alpinism, news, mountaineering, and news updates in the Himalaya, Karakoram, etc., for the past year with ExplorersWeb. Prior to that, Kris worked as a real estate agent, interpreter, and translator in criminal law. Now based in Madrid, Spain, she was born and raised in Hungary.