Close But No Cigar on South Paine

Close But No Cigar on South Paine

Britons Stuart McAleese and Mike “Twid” Turner pioneered a route up the unclimbed 3,500-foot South Face of the South Tower of Paine in Chilean Patagonia, but a five-day storm near the top prevented them from climbing easier terrain to the summit. The two weaved up the big granite wall in 15 long pitches (5.10 A3), climbing capsule-style for 15 cold and stormy days, with portaledge bivouacs. At the top of the wall, easy mountaineering terrain promised a quick route to the top, but the storm pinned them at their bivy and eventually forced a retreat in frightening conditions, with gusts estimated at 125 mph blowing them horizontally off belay anchors; they had to pull themselves hand over hand down some of the rappels. The route was named The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

Date of Ascent: November-December 2006

Source: Twid Turner (

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