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Agujas St-Exupery, Raphael & de la S (Patagonia)
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Agujas St-Exupery, Raphael & de la S (Patagonia)

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Agujas St-Exupery, Raphael & de la S (Patagonia)

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Santa Cruz, Argentina, South America

Lat/Lon: 49.28848°S / 73.03825°W

Object Title: Agujas St-Exupery, Raphael & de la S (Patagonia)

County: El Chalten

Activities: Mountaineering, Trad Climbing

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Elevation: 8392 ft / 2558 m

 

Page By: Andino

Created/Edited: Oct 22, 2007 / Oct 23, 2007

Object ID: 349858

Hits: 13658 

Page Score: 94.24%  - 46 Votes 

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Overview

 
Trail to Campamento Rio Blanco (Patagonia)
Fitz Roy range

On the west shore of the Glaciar Rio Blanco and South of Aguja Poincenot (3002m), there are three granit peaks completing the FitzRoy range : Aguja Raphael (2482m), Aguja St-Exupery (2558m) and Aguja de la S (2335m - also known as Aguja Innominata). The main one (Aguja St-Exupery) takes its name from the French aviator called Antoine de St-Exupery (1900-1944), who was with Jean Mermoz and Henri Guillaumet, in charge of delivering mail all way down to Patagonia by plane. This was between 1929 and 1932 with the French airline company Aeropostale. The two summits north of Fitz Roy are actually called Aguja Mermoz and Aguja Guillaumet, dedicated to their memory too. Note that Antoine de St-Exupery was also famous as a writer, and his book "Le Petit Prince" (name given to a route on the West face) is still a best-seller in France.

These three needles are smaller climbs than its neighors Aguja Poincenot and Cerro Fitz Roy but they still offer difficulty, rock quality and an incredible atmosphere in the heart of Patagonia.

NB : Aguja means Spire

Getting There

 
Laguna Capri
Laguna Capri

 
Map of El Chalten
 

 
El Chalten (Patagonia - Argentina)
El Chalten

 
Fitz Roy > Trekking Map
 

ACCESS
There are two ways to access El Chalten :

The most common is by bus from El Calafate. There are 1 or 2 buses per day, taking 4 hours.
Two companies run this service : CalTur and Chalten Travel.

Second solution : you can come from Villa O'Higgins in Chile (southern end of the Carretera Austral) by boat (once to twice a week) across Lago O'Higgins. Then hike for 25 kms and take a second boat on Lago del Desierto. From there, there is an evening bus to El Chalten. All details on this incredible crossing : Cruce VOH a El Chalten.

LODGING
As far as accomodation is concerned, there are several youth hostels and camp sites in town. One I can recommend that offers both beds and camp grounds is El Refugio, located on the main street (6$ per night and per bed / 2$ per night and per person in tent).
Kitchen facility and hot shower included in the bed price.

BASE CAMP
To reach the base camp of Aguja St-Exupery, you need to take the trail going to Campamento Bridwell (alt. 600m - also known as Campamento de Agostini). This is the actual base camp for Cerro Torre.
A higher camp is then set up on the Glaciar Rio Blanco at about 2000m. From there the ascent starts. To reach this part of Glaciar Rio Blanco from Campamento Bridwell, you need to go around the east shore of Laguna Torre, then up in direction of Cerro Techado Negro. You will then go around Cerro Techado Negro on its East face. 4 smalls passes later you will start walking north bound along Aguja de la S, up to the bottom of the Southeast side of Aguja St Exupery.
3D map - Access to Aguja St-Exupery
 

Red Tape and Weather Conditions

 
Saint Exupery
Agujas de la S & St-Exupery Photo by poice2004

 
Cerro Torre and Laguna Torre at sunset
Laguna Torre

Aguja Raphael, Aguja St-Exupery and Aguja de la S are part of the Parque Nacional Los Glaciares. A permit is required to ascend these peak. You can obtain it at the main office in El Calafate.
As any protected area, it is forbidden to camp outside campsite, or lit fires. Take all trash away with you.

Be aware that in Patagonia the weather can change brutally. From warm sun to snow storm in a few hours of hours, any time of the year. Take warm and waterproof clothes with you, and be ready for tough conditions. The best time to climb would be bewteen December to February, but there can be stronger wind during these months.


Climbing Routes

 
Agujas de la S (2335m), St-Exupery (2558m) & Raphael (2482m)
Aguja de la S, Aguja St-Exupery & Aguja Raphael


AGUJA ST-EXUPERY (2558m)


EAST FACE
o Normal route / East Pillar (800m - TD+) by S. Metzeltin, G. Buscaini, L. Condot, W. Romano & S. Sinigoi (Ita) in 1968
o South Pillar (800m ED) by H. Bärnthaler & E. Lidi (Austria) in 1987
o Le Petit Prince (700m ED) by J. Arpin, P. Batoux, G. Bouquet des Chaux, E. Pellissier & B. Robert (Fra) in 1995
WEST FACE
o Clair de Lune (750m ED-) by M. Giordani & S. Valentini (Italy) in 1987
o Northwest face (700 5.10b) by Sue Harrington & A. Kearney (USA) in 1988

AGUJA RAPHAEL (2482m)


EAST FACE
o Normal route / South Ridge (450m TD+) by M. Boysen, P. Braithwaite, L. Dickinson, D. Reid & R. Silvester (UK / USA) in 1974
o North Pillar (450m ED-) by D. Anker & M. Piola (Swi) in 1989
WEST FACE
o Corail (600m ED+) by F. Leoni & E. Salvaterra (Italie) in 1994

AGUJA DE LA S (2335m)


EAST FACE
o Normal route (400m D-) by Bernard Amy and his French Expedition (France) in 1968
o Bärnthaler/Lidl route (450m TD-) by H. Bärnthaler et E. Lidl (Austria) in 1987
o Qui se souvient des Hommes ? (450m ED-) by Lionel Daudet solo (France) in 1994
o La femme de ma vie (450m ED+) by Lionel Daudet solo (France) in 1995
WEST FACE
o Jeu de glace (1300m TD+) by Gian Carlo Grassi, Roberto Pe & Mauro Rossi (Italy)

MOJON ROJO (2163m)


South of Aguja de la S there is a smaller summit called Mojon Rojo (2163m). Two possible routes :
o East ridge (n/k) by Sergio Bassini, C. Fava & A. Vincitorio (Italy)
o West face (650m IV+) by Jim Bridwell (USA) & R. Staszewski (Australia)


Useful information

 
Sunrise
Photo by Martin Tinak

 
Aiguille Poincenot
Photo by Enriq

Book :
One guidebook with a little information about this peak is :
The Andes : A Guide For Climbers by John Biggar - Jul. 2005
ISBN : 0953608727

Map of the area :
Monte Fitz Roy & Cerro Torre
Scale > 1:50.000
ISBN : 1879568292

Weather forecast :
On Infoclima > El Chalten

Internet :
Official website for El Chalten : Capital Argentina del Trekking
Official website for the National Park : Parque Nacional Los Glaciares
Excellent general information on Aguja Raphael, Aguja St-Exupery and Aguja de la S (in French) : Expé.com

Images

Trail to Campamento Rio Blanco (Patagonia)SunriseAguja Poincenot (3002m - Northeast face)Aiguille PoincenotAgujas de la S (2335m), St-Exupery (2558m) & Raphael (2482m)Saint Exupery3D map - Access to Aguja St-Exupery
Cerro Torre and Laguna Torre at sunsetLaguna CapriFitz Roy > Trekking MapEl Chalten (Patagonia - Argentina)Map of El Chalten