Alpinist.com reports that between November 21-23, two teams–one comprised of Patagonia veteran Rolando Garibotti and Hans Johnstone, the other of four strong Italians: Ermanno Salvaterra, Alessandro Beltrami, Mirko Mase and Fabio Salvadei–completed the second and third ascents of the very bold Patagonian traverse starting from Cerro Standhardt, then Punta Herron and finally onto Torre Egger.The aim of both teams was also to enchain the fourth, taller peak, Cerro Torre. Connecting the four peaks has never been done and is regarded as “the ultimate uberproject…. Few lines anywhere are as aesthetic, obvious and difficult as this traverse,” stated Garibotti. The traverse works south-southeast along the massif, toward Cerro Torre. The Italian team climbed a single pitch on Cerro Torre before deciding the weather would be too warm to attempt the summit mushrooms at the top without extreme objective hazard. Garibotti and Johnstone went higher, completing about half of El Arca before what the Italians had feared, unstable snow mushrooms on the north face, forced their retreat late on November 23. Patagonia´s unpredictable weather, coupled with the instability of these summits, makes the four-peak traverse (ca. 2200m of vertical gain) a fickle objective comprehensible by only the best in perfect conditions. “Undoubtedly great imagination and courage will be required to put together all the pieces of this puzzle,” Garibotti said. You can see pictures and read a fuller report on Alpinist.com
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