Torre Central del Paine

Torre Central del Paine

Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 51.0023°S / 72.9991°W
Activities Activities: Mountaineering, Trad Climbing, Ice Climbing, Aid Climbing, Big Wall
Seasons Season: Summer
Additional Information Elevation: 8071 ft / 2460 m
Sign the Climber's Log

Overview

Torre Central del Paine 2460 m

Torres del Paine, rising towards the sky like three perfect granite arrows, are really the ideal archetip of rocky towers which stays inside the dreams of every alpinist. The towers are located in the southern Chilean Patagonia (Chile’s Magallanes Region, Ultima Esperanza Province, Torres del Paine Community), between the Cordillera de Los Andes and the Patagonian steppes. Torres del Paine are rising up from Magellanic forests with impressive vertical cliffs. The majestic and the highest one is the incredible Torre Central, situated in the middle. From the "Mirador", a panoramic point of view near the Base Camp, it's possible to take the most impressive view over Torre Central stunning East Face.

Dawn on Torres del Paine
Dawn on Torres del Paine

This view is quite famous all over the world in reason of the outstanding steepness of the walls and the beauty of the surrounding landscape, shaped by the action of the ancient glaciers, renowned as well as the inclement weather conditions which distinguish the area. Notwithstanding this latter feature, every year mountaineers organize their trips, hoping to climb this glamorous peak, while adventurous trekkers come to enjoy the tower’s dramatic scene, a popular hiking destination in Chile.

Torres del Paine
Sunset over Cuernos del Paine and Torres in the back - Photo Danielschenk  

 

Getting There

Road access

The approach to the area is from Punta Arenas, the capital of Chile’s Region XII, a more than 100,000 inhabitants’s town, with an active airport (2,500 Km South of Santiago). A 200 Km paved road (Ruta CH-9) connects Punta Arenas with Puerto Natales, the last small town on the way to Paine Region. From Puerto Natales (about 20,000 inhabitants, hotels) drive along a 120 Km unsurfaced road, leading to Laguna Amarga Keeper Post (Park Gate).

Upper Rio Ascensio Valley, Torres del Paine
Approaching from Rio Ascensio Valley
torres del paine
Close-up taken from the "Mirador"

From here follow a narrow 7 Km. car road (private, tourists’s cars not allowed) to Estancia Paine (Lodge), from where the approach-trail to Chilean Camp is starting; follow it to Torres Base Camp, lying at the foot of Torres del Paine East faces (about 3-4 hours by walking). An impressive view point - the worldwide famous “Mirador” - is easily reached following a short trail from the Torres del Paine Base Camp.

  

The summits of Torres del Paine emerging during the approach from West
West walls emerging
Torres del Paine
East walls from the "Mirador"
Llengas (Beechs' wood) - Torres del Paine
Across the Llengas (Beech-wood)

Red Tape

Torre Central del Paine and the entire Cordillera del Paine lie inside "Torres del Paine National Park", one of most spectacular park in the country, established in 1959 and declared an UNESCO WORLD BIOSPHERE RESERVE in 1978.

Torres del Paine Panorama
Torres del Paine Panorama - Photo Nikman

The Torres del Paine National Park is open all year round and is administered by the CONAF - National Forestry Commission. Access is regulated and an entrance fee is due. Its entry gates are about 115 kilometers from Puerto Natales. The Sarmiento and Laguna Amarga entry gates are open from 8.30 a.m. to 8.30 p.m., all year round.

Cuernos del Paine from Lake Pehoe'
Cuernos del Paine from Lake Pehoe'
Torres del Paine
A brilliant cloudless morning

Inside the park there is a huge variety of animal species and plant. The landscape is characterized by stunning peaks, snow-capped mountains, waterfalls, glaciers, forests and superb lakes: Torres del Paine National Park quite deserves its reputation.

 
Los Torres from the mirador....
Los Torres from the mirador....
An exciting moment on Torre Central del Paine (1992)
An exciting moment on Torre Central del Paine (1992)

 

History

First summiters: Chris Bonington and Don Whillans 1963, January, 16th

- The likely first attempt to climb Torre Central del Paine dates back in 1940, when the Germans Rudolf and Werner made an attempt to climb up from the saddle between Torre Central and Torre Sur, without leaving any climbing report.

- Torre Central absolute first ascent was realized many years later by the British Chris Bonington and Don Whillans along the North Ridge VI, A2 600 mt. 16.01.1963.

- The Italians Armando Aste, Vasco Taldo, Nando Nusdeo, Josve Aiazzi and Carlo Casati realized the second ascent the day after the British team (17.1.1963), climbing the same route.

Don Whillans and Chris Bonington at the base of Central Tower of Paine, January 1963
Don Whillans and Chris Bonington at the base of the tower
Armando Aste and companions on the summit of Central Tower of Paine, january 1963
Armando Aste and companions on the summit

 

Faces and Routes overview

- North Face

It is the wall where it's located the route of the first absolute climb of the tower:

"North Ridge British Route" - Chris Bonington and Don Whillans (UK) on the North Ridge VI, A2 600 mt. 16.01.1963 - The first route realized on the tower.

Paine Torre Central East Face - Routes
Paine Torre Central East Face routes - Photo A. Rampini

 East Face RoutesA La Ballena de los vientos - Insumisioa - C Magico Est - D El gordo, el flaco y l'abuelito - E Riders on the storm - F El regalo del Mwoma - G Golazo - H Una fina linea - i Macaroni - South African - Waiting for Godot - L Original British Route 

 

 - East face routes (including NE and SE routes) in chronological order

Stunning and impressive, the East face is the tallest and most famous wall of Torre Central, celebrated in reason of its superb beauty and its verticality, as well as for the boldness of the routes running through it: 

- "North-East Dihedral Southafrican Route" - Michael Scott, Richard Smithers (South Africa) 21.1.1974 (absolute 3rd ascension) ED sup, VI, A4 1100 m -  Route J
- "Magico Est" - Maurizio Giarolli, Elio Orlandi, Ermanno Salvaterra (Italy) 31.10.1986 ED sup., VII, A3, 1000 m -  Route C
- "Riders on the Storm" - Kurt Albert, Berndl Arnold, Peter Dittrich, Wolfgang Gullich (Germany) 23/27.1.1991 ABO, 7c, A3, 1100 m -  Route E 
- "La Ballena de los Vientos" (SE) - Eric Brand, Steve Hayward (USA), Sebastian de La Cruz (Arg), Jon Lazkano, Josè Carlos Tamayo (Spain) 24.11.1991 ED sup., 5.10b, A3+, 900 m -  Route A
- "El Regalo de Mwono" Paul Pritchard, Sean Smith (UK) 16.1.1992 EX, 6a/b, A4 1000 m -  Route F
- "Una Fina linea de locura" - Teo Plaza, Ramiro Calvo, Diego Luro (Arg) 8.1.1993 ED sup., VII, A3, 1100 m -  Route H
- "Insumisioa" - Raul Melero, Mikel Saez, Xabier Urdanoz (Spain) jan. 1994 ED sup., VI, VII, A4, 1000 m -  Route B
- "Golazo" - Steve Schneider (USA) febr. 1999 ABO, 5.10, A4+, 1100 m -  Route G
- "Macaroni Porridge Junction" - M.Holecek, F. Silhan, D. Stastny 2000  -  Route i
- "El Gordo el Flaco y l'Abuelito" - Rolando Larcher, Fabio Leoni, Elio Orlandi (Italy) 7.2.2008 7a+/A3+, 1200 m -  Route D
- "Waiting for Godot" - Hansjorg Auer and Much Mayr (Austria) january 2010 7b, M6 750 m The route ends on the col between Torre Central and Torre Norte - Route K

  

- West Face routes in chronological order

 

Paine Torre Central West Face Routes
Torre Central West Face routes: 1 Wild Wild West - 2 Rosso di sera - 3 Via delle Mamme ph. Alberto Rampini

 

The West wall, less striking and known, is situated in an extremely wild and secluded setting. On the wall there are today three routes:

- "Rosso di Sera" - Mario Manica, Fabrizio Defrancesco, Fabio Stedile (Italy) 2.1.1986 ED sup., VII, A3, 700 m -  Route 1  
- "Wild Wild West" - Jan Smith, Scott Cosgrove (USA) 27.1.1991 5.11+, A3, 700 m -  Route 2  
- "Via delle Mamme" - Carlo Barbolini, Bruno De Donà, Angelo Pozzi, Alberto Rampini, Mario Vighetti (Italy) 15/16.11.1992 ED sup., VII, A3, 750 m -  Route 3

Endless cracks on Via delle Mamme, Torre Central del Paine
Endless cracks on Via delle Mamme, Torre Central
Jumaring along Via delle Mamme (Torre Central del Paine)
Jumaring along Via delle Mamme

 

- North-West face routes in chronological order

 

"Kanterarik Ez" - Jon Lazkano, Kike de Pablos (Spain) 27.1.1991 6c, A3, 700 m 
"Antxon Eta Gaiska" - Andoni Areizaga, Josetxo Rodriguez, Gerardo Telletxea, Martin Zabaleta (Spain) February 1998 5.10d, A2, 900 m

 

- South Face routes in chronological order

 

"Kearney-Knight" Alan Kearney, Bobby Knight (USA) 2.1.1986 VI, A3, 800 m 
"Ragni di Lecco" Marco Ballerini, Carlo Besana, Renato Da Pozzo, Norberto Riva, Dario Spreafico (Italy)24.12.1986 

Late routes overview and news

“El Gordo, El Flaco y L’Abuelito” Rolando Larcher, Fabio Leoni, Elio Orlandi (Italy) 7.2.2008 7a+/A3+, 1200 m. More informations here: Planetmountain

"Waiting for Godot" Hansjörg Auer and Much Mayr (Austria) january 2010 7b, M6 750 m. The route ends at the col between Torre Central and Torre Norte. More informations here: Planetmountain

Belgian climbers Nico Favresse, Siebe Vanhee and Sean Villanueva O'Driscoll managed to squeak out a 19-day free ascent of the 1200-meter route "El Regalo de Mwono", originally VI 5.10 A4 when first climbed in 1991-'92, now 5.13b. More info: "Alpinist"

Camping

 

Where are our tents?
Looking for the tents at B.C. after a heavy snowfall
Placing the camp below Torre Central del Paine
Setting the camp below Torre Central West face

 

Camping is allowed only in some official campsites and any fire is strictly prohibited.

When to climb

The best time to climb goes from November to late February, the local summer, being the region located on the Southern hemisphere.

Lake Pehoe
Lake Pehoe
A basic wooden hut near Japanese camp, Torres del Paine
A basic wooden hut near Japanese camp, Torres del Paine

 

Map

Torres del Paine map

 

Meteo

METEO TORRES DEL PAINE

METEO PATAGONIA

External Links

Other useful information here:

Parque Nacional Park Torres del Paine Erraticrock Patagonia Lonely Planet Andeshandbook Portal Torres del Paine

Guidebooks and maps

 

Patagonia Guidebook

 

 

 

 

"Patagonia Terra Magica per viaggiatori e alpinisti" by Gino Buscaini and Silvia Metzeltin   

I Ed. Dall'Oglio 1987 -  II Ed. Corbaccio, Milano 1998 ISBN: 88-7972-335-9

 

 



Children

Children

Children refers to the set of objects that logically fall under a given object. For example, the Aconcagua mountain page is a child of the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits.' The Aconcagua mountain itself has many routes, photos, and trip reports as children.