Americans Busy in Patagonia
Americans Taki Miyamoto, Dave Sharratt, Paul Turecki and Freddie Wilkinson climbed a new route on the northwest Pillar of Aguja Rafael in Patagonia in late December. Via Sin Nombre (aka Blood on the Tracks) climbs a vertical to overhanging crack system for 11 long pitches at 5.11+ A1. A week later, Sharratt returned with Miyamoto and Wilkinson and freed the two aid pitches at 5.12.
On January 22, Sharratt and Wilkinson launched a “Hail Mary” bid for a new route on Aguja Desmochada. With only a day and a half before their bus left for the airport, they left camp after a morning storm, arrived at the base of the southwest face in early afternoon, and climbed a new route left of El Facon, topping out at 2 a.m. They returned to camp by 2 p.m. the next day after a stormy descent, packed up, and hiked 15 miles to town, catching about three hours of sleep before their 6:30 a.m. bus. The new route is The Sound and the Fury (5.11 A1).
American Colin Haley climbed Aguja Guillamet with a pair of Argentineans and then, with Mark Westman, ticked Mermoz, Fitz Roy, St. Exupery and Rafael in a 12-day span. At only 21, Haley now has climbed all of the main summits of the Fitz Roy group in two Patagonian visits.
The all-female team of Janet Bergman, Sarah Garlick and Kirstin Kramer suffered a forced bivouac three pitches from the summit of St. Exupery, retreated, and then immediately turned to Rafael, which they climbed with another ledge bivy on the descent. Meanwhile, Lisa Rands and Kevin Thaw summited St. Exupery via the 22-pitch Claro de Luna.
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