Two Elite Teams to Squeeze in Last-Minute Patagonia Expeditions

Two strong teams are hurrying to Patagonia to launch a couple of last-minute expeditions at the end of the summer season.

Italians Matteo Della Bordella and Giacomo Mauri posted a short video yesterday just before hopping on their flight to South America.

Although the duo’s precise goal is unclear, they plan to attempt Cerro Torre during this, the 50th anniversary of the spire’s first ascent. Della Bordella has already climbed it three times: by the Compressor route (with Silvan Schupbach, in 2016), by Via dei Ragni (with Nicola Lanzetta, in 2019), and by the new line he opened along with Matteo De Zaiacomo and David Bacci in January 2022, which they called Brothers in Arms.

Why so late?

Della Bordella points out two main reasons for going so late: First, in December he became a father for the second time, and he wanted to be there for the birth of his daughter.

Second, starting the climb later minimizes the recent high summer temperatures. ”Already in the Alps, it’s necessary to change the times and seasons of some climbs,” he says. “We still haven’t gotten used to this for non-European expeditions, but I think we should start experimenting.”

Giacomo Mauri and Matteo Della Bordella yesterday at the airport.

Giacomo Mauri and Matteo Della Bordella at the airport yesterday. Photo: Frame of the video of Matteo Della Bordella


End-of-summer Patagonia may be cooler, but they will still have to deal with the same weather windows. Della Bordella and Mauri will arrive at the towers at the end of a spell of good weather and will have to wait for the next one before they begin.

This will be Della Bordella and Mauri’s first expedition together. But they have been training as a team for months. Just a few days ago, they repeated Apriti Cielo on Switzerland’s El Cap-sized Osogna Wall. They climbed the 36-pitch, 1,100m line in 8 hours and 15 minutes. This route has a maximum difficulty of 7b+ and is the longest route in the Ticino Canton.

Although Mauri is only 24, he is a highly experienced climber, who has done the Eternal Flame line on Trango’s Nameless Tower in Pakistan.

Thomas Huber, Jon Griffin and Tad McCrea.

Thomas Huber, Jon Griffin, and Tad McCrea display their hardware. Photo: Thomas Huber


Another elite team with Thomas Huber, Jon Griffin, and Tad McCrea has already arrived in El Chalten. As with Della Bordella, they are keeping their plans to themselves, beyond the teasing general announcement.

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.