North Ridge ( North Buttress )

Page Type
Patagonia, Chile, South America
Route Type:
Technical Rock
Time Required:
V, 5.7, A1

Route Quality: 4 Votes

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Created On: Nov 27, 2002
Last Edited On: Dec 3, 2002


From Puerto Natales, take the bus or hire a driver to take you the Paine National Park. Once in the Park, it is necessary to either drive or, if the road is flooded ( quite possible in late spring ), hike ( after getting a park guard to ferry you via boat ) to the Estancia Cerro Paine. From here a trail 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 continue up the valley thru a forest of linga trees around to the west side of the Towers.

Route Description

This is the original route on the South Tower climbed by the Italians in 1963. First ascent by J. Aiazzi, A. Aste, C. Casati, N. Nusdeo and V. Taldo, Feb. 9th, 1963. It is about 22 pitches and can be climbed in two days with good weather. The pitches are rated 5.3, 5.6, 5.7, 5.7 A1, 5.6 A1, 5.6, about 1485 feet of 5.0, 5.6, 5.6, 5.7, 5.7, 5.6 A1, 5.6, 5.7, 5.7 and 5.7. A mostly free route.

See The American Alpine Journal - 1994, pages 10 - 19 for more information.

Essential Gear

Note - I cannot speak from personal experience regarding this climb but I would recommend 2 sets each Friends and wired stoppers and a small selection of pitons from some Bugaboos / blades to 1" angles. 200' ropes would be helpful. Crampons and ice axes may be needed. As for any climb in Patagonia, warm stormproof clothing, and bivy gear for emergencys are essencial.

Miscellaneous Info

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

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asmrz - Nov 27, 2002 2:38 pm - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

Craig: This sounds like a great climb. I didn't yet look at the 94 AAC for this and other routes, but can you please elaborate on the best weather window to climb at the Paine Towers?

Craig Peer

Craig Peer - Nov 27, 2002 5:20 pm - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

Right now I think. I paid the American Alpine Club for this research. There is even a topo for this climb. Nov - Dec is best as far as i know. Want to go there? My sweetie wants to hike there, maybe a quick jaunt up the Tower that almost killed me! Then tour around!


asmrz - Dec 3, 2002 7:38 am - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

Hi Craig: Somehow I missed your message. Sorry. You know, I would love to go, if just to hike in the Chilean Mountains, drink their wine and be with good people. I have no vacation left this year and, to tell you truthfully, I would not want to go alone. So, if I ever find soulmate to go with, you and your lady have yourself a trip. I like foreigh lands to visit and climb in. We need to talk about this some more. That;s not just an ampty promise. This is intriguing. Anyway, Thanks for the response. Hope you had good Thanksgiving editing your video material.

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