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In the Eye of the Hurricane

In the Eye of the Hurricane

In the Eye of the Hurricane

Page Type: Route

Location: Patagonia, Chile, South America

Object Title: In the Eye of the Hurricane

Route Type: Technical Rock

Time Required: Expedition

Difficulty: VI, 5.10c, A4

Route Quality: 
 - 2 Votes


Page By: Craig Peer

Created/Edited: Nov 27, 2002 / Feb 25, 2003

Object ID: 157434

Hits: 3230 

Page Score: 0%  - 0 Votes 

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From the Estancia Cerro Paine, take the trail that leads first south, then west up the Rio Ascencio valley to the base camp used by the Italians in 1963 during their first ascent of the South Tower. From here one must shuttle loads up the valley past the linga trees, and then up a giant moraine to the glacial lake below and to the east of the Towers. Hike up a snow gully to the left of the cliffs at the head of the lake. A long and sometimes steep slog up the glacier leads to campsites on top of a 900' rock outcropping below the East Face of the South Tower.

Route Description

This route was climbed by Swiss climber Michel Piola and French climber Vincent Sprungli in January 1992. They were awarded the prestigious Piolet d' Or for this climb. This climb involves approximately 2970 feet of climbing with a fair amount of both difficult ( 5.10c ) free climbing and difficult ( A4 ) aid climbing. Described as a " superb big wall " with a steep difficult centeral section. Most of the second half of the climb is on the " magnificent red granite " the Towers are known for. This climb shares pitches 16 - 21 with our East Face / Mala Pata 1984 route attempt. I can certainly attest that this climb would indeed be a superb climb!

See the 1993 American Alpine Journal ( pages 189 - 194 ) for more information.

Essential Gear

An A4 big wall rack is undoubtedly needed as the 1st ascent party mentions using numerous hooks, knifeblades and copperheads. I would recommend a pin rack of rurps to 1 1/2" angles, hooks, heads and 2 - 3 each wired stoppers and camming devices. Bring crampons and ice axes.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.


The " In The Eye of the...The beautiful A3+ aid pitch...