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Patagonia: Camilo and Annas Aguja Poincenot summit debrief

Posted: Feb 13, 2009 11:21 am EST

(MountEverest.net) After opening a new variation route on Aguja Guillomet, Colombians Camilo LĂłpez and Anna Pfaff have now climbed another Patagonian spire: Aguja Poincenot.

[After crossing the glacier from Paso Superior] we arrived at Aguja Poincenots base as clouds covered the rising sun and snow started to fall, Camilo and Anna recounted. We questioned the weather for a minute but then decided to go on.

The climb: Mixed terrain on Williams route

The first pitch was a traverse on thin ice and mixed terrain leading up into the ramp of the Williams route. We followed the 70-80 degree ramp up the West face for 6 pitches of steep neve, and verglass-covered rock. We dodged ice falling from the top, which sounded like bombs and exploded into a million pieces against the rock face.

The ramp led to steep chimney filled with thin ice, this being the crux of the climb at M5. The chimney ended under a thin roof crack where we traversed left to the anchor. From this anchor we traversed another 60 meters across a snow covered ledge to the last 9 upper pitches of the head wall. We followed the rock weakness climbing the ice filled cracks and snow covered ledges wearing our crampons and using ice tools. The conditions of the upper pitches made for M3/M4 terrain.

Summit and a cold open bivy

We arrived on the summit at 9:30 pm. The moon was full and we had amazing views of the snow and ice covered Fitz Roy. We were spent from the long and demanding climb so we decided to bivy one rappel down from the summit, instead of rappelling all the way and trying to find the anchors in the dark. We had no bivy gear but the weather was predicted to hold over night and the sky was clear. We found a good spot in between a small flake and the wall. There we flattened out the snow and built a larger rock wall for more 'protection'.

We stacked our ropes and endured one very cold open bivy. When the the sun broke through the clouds, we went into reset mode, re-organized our gear and started down. We did 15 rappels down to the base having to do a few anchor replacements and traversing over some blocky sections along the way. We returned to the base at around 10 am.

"South America's Yosemite" coming next

We are very happy about this amazing climb, the climbers happily stated.

Next, Camilo and Anna are heading to Cochamo Valley in Chile, a place they describe as South Americas Yosemite.

Camilo López during the climb (click to enlarge).
Climbing in the dark, snow falling (click to enlarge).
"We followed the 70-80 degree ramp up the West face for 6 pitches of steep neve," the team reported (click to enlarge).
Most of the route showed mixed conditions (click to enlarge).
"We followed the rock weakness climbing the ice filled cracks and snow covered ledges wearing our crampons and using ice tools." (Click to enlarge).
Anna on Aguja Poincenot's summit (click to enlarge).
Camilo on top (click to enlarge).
All images courtesy of Camilo López (click to enlarge).