Trip Report
"Aste Route" North Ridge 5.11 (org. VI- A1), 800 m, J. Ajazzi, Armando Aste, Castati, Nando Nusdeo, Vasco Taldo, 1963
Sunday February 1, 2015 6:26am
Credit: Myles Moser

"Aste Route" North Ridge 5.11 (org. VI- A1), 800 m, J. Ajazzi, Armando Aste, Castati, Nando Nusdeo, Vasco Taldo, 1963

South Tower, Torres del Paine
Summit!
Summit!
Credit: Myles Moser
Write Up By: Amy Ness


"Oh no!" Myles proclaimed. I turned to look back at him, but he had blended into the dark night. It only took me a second to realize the problem, his headlamp was dead. As if that wasn't bad enough, mine flickered to the end of it's life within a minute or two afterwards. That's what you get for having rechargeable headlamps on an expedition that don't take batteries or when some ones boyfriend neglects to recharge them. We were lost, and not only was it dark, now, it was really dark. We had no choice but to lie down exactly where we were and endure the cold and windy Patagonian night...with only the clothes on our backs. This was to be my first unplanned bivouac, and I was miserable!

My only driving force to keep going after climbing the Aste Route on Torre Sur, was to get back to our cave and into my sleeping bag. I didn't care about food or water, just being warm. So you can imagine my extreme disappointment while shivering the night away. Luckily, the 23 pitches of climbing had exhausted us enough that we were able to sleep, a little bit anyway. We had climbed the route in a little over 8 1/2 hours, yet with the tedious rappels and unknown valley we were still benighted. We wanted to summit the South Tower in order to complete the trifecta- having climbed the North and Central Towers via the east faces. After spending 46 days total on the other two towers, we just wanted to romp up the South, taking one rope (the rappels were set for 35m), a double rack, and simul-climbing the last 17 pitches from the shoulder to the summit. We actually felt a bit cheated by the experience...it didn't fight us at all! By dawn the next morning, I felt the dehydration, exhaustion, and hunger that I've come to know down here in Patagonia as, "Tasting the Paine".

Looking back now, after sleep, food, and rest, it almost seems comical. The climbing was a bit loose, but well worth the effort once we reached the shoulder. It reminded me of the rock on Charlotte Dome back home in the Eastern Sierras, but with breath-taking views on every side: snow-covered mountains stretching through infinity, and a view of the Central Tower sweeping up from the glacier and standing proudly just on our other side. Simuling, basically, without stopping, it went by much more quickly than the lower pitches which were much more difficult in grade (5.11 protected by old pins), and much too delicate to move quickly on.

The Paine seems to always be teaching us something new: put your portaledge under a roof, bring a baby-sized broom to sweep out snow, always pack extra food, and this time, carry an emergency foil bivy sack when you get on a 3000' wall, because finding a cave in a moraine field is about as likely as finding a needle in a haystack!


Central Tower from the South Tower!
Central Tower from the South Tower!
Credit: Myles Moser

  Trip Report Views: 1,275
Myles Moser
About the Author
Myles Moser is a climber from Lone Pine, Ca.

Comments
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mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
  Feb 1, 2015 - 06:38am PT
Ain't summertime grand?
matty

Trad climber
under the sea
  Feb 1, 2015 - 10:30am PT
Rad stuff from the portal duo. Thx for the stoke. See u round sometime.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Feb 2, 2015 - 04:14am PT
Congrats and thanks!
John Mac

Trad climber
Breckenridge, CO
  Feb 2, 2015 - 06:24am PT
Thanks for sharing. More please ...
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
  Feb 2, 2015 - 06:31am PT
playing and winning , thanx for Sharing!
Hoots

climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
  Feb 2, 2015 - 06:46am PT
Nice one Myles! I got a couple pitches up that thing several years back, that rock down low is sketchy! Then it started raining, so we could have an excuse to bail other than just being wusses. When are you guys back?
ryankelly

Trad climber
Bhumi
  Feb 2, 2015 - 08:41am PT
party on!!!!! yeah!!!!!
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