home climbing areas field notesknowledgedisclaimercopyrightcontactdonate

Update: last updated on 12/12/2011.

Aguja Standhardt – East and south face

7. El Caracol

250m 85˚ 6a A1

Jorge Ackermann (ARG) and Colin Haley (USA), 12/2011.

Description. Climb to the base of the Exocet chimney and from there continue left to the end of the ramp. Climb a mixed pitch up and left to the main dihedral system that is the defining feature in the south face. To enter this corner climb down and left, then up an obvious crack (aid). Climbing down and left allows you to avoid a pendulum required during the first ascent. One more aid pitch leads to two slightly easier pitches (mixed and free). The exit chimney is very steep and is the crux of the route. It involves nailing a knifeblade crack in its right wall, straightforward but strenous aid climbing. 500m altogether.

History. Brian Hall and John Whittle (UK) were the first to attempt this line in 1977. During their first foray on the mountain they attempted to climb the chimney right of Exocet, but they retreated after a big fall. Back in the snow slope they decided to climb left, to the south face, climbing 5 pitches up it before bad weather forced them to retreat. Three weeks later they made another attempt during which they reached the base of the summit mushroom “...calling our high point an ascent of Standhardt”.

This face has seen quite a few attempts since Hall and Whittle’s. The most significant was by Txema Egizabal and Xavi Ansa (Basque) who, in early 1987 after climbing a variation start –what would later become SCUD- reached a point 100 meters below the summit. Other attempts include Elio Orlandi and Maurizio Giarolli (Italy) in 1987, Jim Bridwell, Greg Smith and Jay Smith (USA) in 1988, Bean Bowers and Kevin Mahoney (USA) in 2004, etc.

Ackermann and Haley followed the line climbed by Hall and Whittle completing the last 20 meters of a line that had almost been climbed before either of them was even born.

The route's name, the snail, refers to the spiral nature of the climb but also to the snail-like pace of the first ascensionists in the tricky pitches.

Approach. Niponino to Col Standhardt.

Descent. From the top down Exocet.

Bibliography. AAJ 1978 p. 581-583; Alpinismus 1978/8 p. 19-21; Mountain magazine 55 p. 11; Crags magazine 11 p. 24-27.

Photos (click to enlarge)

Torre Egger and Aguja Standhardt

southeast face

Torre Egger and Aguja Standhardt

south face

Aguja Standhardt south face

Please Do Not Reprint This Article
This article is copyrighted. Please do not reprint this article in whole or part, in any form, without obtaining written permission.

if you find any mistakes or if you have additional information, please go to the contact page and let us know.

Aguja StandhardtEast face 1. Exocet1.1 Scud 2. Chimenea Este 3. Tomahawk4. Extreme Emotions5. Motivaciones Mixtas6. Potter-Davis East and south face7. El Caracol West face8. Otra Vez North ridge9. Festerville West face - Punta Shanti10. Leonardo da VinciTraverseTravesia del Torre / Torre Traverse


If you find this web page useful, please consider making a donation

Chaltén Massif
Cerro San Lorenzo
Cerro Murallón
Cerro Riso Patron
Cerro Catedral/Frey
Tetons (USA)

Trail restoration work