, rising towards the sky like three perfect granite arrows, are really the ideal archetip of rocky towers which stays inside the dreams of every mountaineer.
(Chile’s Magallanes Region, Ultima Esperanza Province, Torres del Paine Community), between Cordillera de Los Andes and Patagonian steppes.
The towers are rising up from Magellanic forests with impressive vertical cliffs.
. From the "Mirador", a panoramic point of view near the Base Camp, it's possible to take the most impressive view over
; this is quite famous all over the world in reason of its outstanding steepness 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, 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.
, 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
From Puerto Natales (about 20,000 inhabitants, hotels) drive along a 120 Km unsurfaced road, leading to Laguna Amarga Keeper Post (Park Gate).
From here follow a narrow 7 Km. car road (private, tourists’s cars not allowed) to
(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.
Torres del Paine East wall seen from the Mirador - Ph. Danielschenk
Approaching from the Rio Ascensio valley
Torres del Paine West walls seen from upper Rio Ascensio Valley
Torre Central del Paine close-up taken from the Mirador
Torres del Paine pano - Photo Nikman
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. 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.
Sunset over Cuernos del Paine and Torres in the back
A brilliant cloudless morning
"Malo tiempo" al Paine
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.
Torres del Paine from the Mirador
Approach in the beech wood
An exciting moment near the summit
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
Armando Aste and companions on the summit of Central Tower of Paine, January 1963
Faces and Routes overview
East Face Routes: A La Ballena de los vientos- B 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- J South African- K Waiting for Godot-L Original British Route ph. Alberto Rampini
- North Face
"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.
- East face
(including NE and SE routes) in chronological order:
"North-East Dihedral Southafrican Route"
- Michael Scott, Richard Smithers (South Africa) 21.1.1974 (absolute 3rd ascension) ED sup, VI, A4 1100 mt.
- Maurizio Giarolli, Elio Orlandi, Ermanno Salvaterra (Italy) 31.10.1986 ED sup., VII, A3, 1000 mt.
"Riders on the Storm"
- Kurt Albert, Berndl Arnold, Peter Dittrich, Wolfgang Gullich (Germany) 23/27.1.1991 ABO, 7c, A3, 1100 mt.
"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 mt.
"El Regalo de Mwoma"
- Paul Pritchard, Sean Smith (UK) 16.1.1992 EX, 6a/b, A4 1000 mt.
"Una Fina linea de locura"
- Teo Plaza, Ramiro Calvo, Diego Luro (Arg) 8.1.1993 ED sup., VII, A3, 1100 mt.
- Raul Melero, Mikel Saez, Xabier Urdanoz (Spain) jan. 1994 ED sup., VI, VII, A4, 1000 mt.
- Steve Schneider (USA) febr. 1999 ABO, 5.10, A4+, 1100 mt.
"Macaroni Porridge Junction"
- M.Holecek, F. Silhan, D. Stastny 2000
"El Gordo el Flaco y l'Abuelito"
- Rolando Larcher, Fabio Leoni, Elio Orlandi (Italy) 7.2.2008 7a+/A3+, 1200 mt.
"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.
West Face Routes: 1 Wild Wild West - 2 Rosso di sera - 3 Via delle Mamme ph. Alberto Rampini
- West Face
in chronological order:
"Rosso di Sera"
- Mario Manica, Fabrizio Defrancesco, Fabio Stedile (Italy) 2.1.1986 ED sup., VII, A3, 700 mt.
"Wild Wild West"
- Jan Smith, Scott Cosgrove (USA) 27.1.1991 5.11+, A3, 700 mt.
"Via delle Mamme"
- Carlo Barbolini, Bruno De Donà, Angelo Pozzi, Alberto Rampini, Mario Vighetti (Italy) 15/16.11.1992 ED sup., VII, A3, 750 mt.
- North West face
in chronological order:
- Jon Lazkano, Kike de Pablos (Spain) 27.1.1991 6c, A3, 700 mt.
"Antxon Eta Gaiska"
- Andoni Areizaga, Josetxo Rodriguez, Gerardo Telletxea, Martin Zabaleta (Spain) February 1998 5.10d, A2, 900 mt.
- South Face
in chronological order:
Alan Kearney, Bobby Knight (USA) 2.1.1986 VI, A3, 800 mt.
"Ragni di Lecco"
Marco Ballerini, Carlo Besana, Renato Da Pozzo, Norberto Riva, Dario Spreafico (Italy)24.12.1986
Endless cracks on Via delle Mamme, Torre Central West Face - November 1992
Jumaring along Via delle Mamme, Torre Central West Face - November 1992
Late routes overview“EL GORDO, EL FLACO Y L’ABUELITO”
Rolando Larcher, Fabio Leoni, Elio Orlandi (Italy) 7.2.2008 7a+/A3+, 1200 mt.
More informations here:
"WAITING FOR GODOT"
Hansjörg Auer and Much Mayr (Austria) january 2010 7b, M6 750 mt.. The route ends at the col between Torre Central and Torre Norte.
More informations here:
Looking for the tents at B.C. after a heavy snowfall
Setting the camp below Torre Central West face
Cuernos del Paine and Torre Sur from Torre Central
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.
A basic wooden hut near the Japanese camp
" by Gino Buscaini and Silvia Metzeltin