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Travesía Doble M —Torres del Paine
by Rolando Garibotti [12/03/2024]

A traverse following the skyline of the four Paine Towers, starting via the W ridge of Torre Sur, to tackle the S faces of Torre Central, Norte, & Peineta English version.

Una travesía siguiendo la línea de horizonte de las cuatro torres del Paine, empezando por el filo oeste de la Torre Sur, para seguir por las caras sur de las torres Central y Norte, y la Peineta. Versión en español

Campos de Hielo Norte & Sur - Le grand voyage.
by Rolando Garibotti [13/01/2023]

Forty five days to traverse large portions part of the two biggest ice fields of Patagonia—a 600km journey. English version.

Cuarenta y cinco días para travesear gran parte de los dos campos de hielo patagónicos—600km de aventura. Versión en español.


Before going to the mountains complete the free, online registration.

Antes de ir a la montaña regístrate, es gratis y online.


You must carry a communication device. They can be life-saving. Either VHF radio or inReach works. In this link you can find the frequencies & phone numbers to program on your device. If you have an emergency, communicate: where, what, when, how; # of people involved, hurt; current condition; care provided; possibility of self-rescue, or nearby help.

Es indispensable llevar un dispositivo de comunicación. Pueden salvar vidas. Tanto una radio VHF como inReach funcionan. En este link están las frecuencias & números de teléfono para programar en tu dispositivo. Si tenes una emergencia, comunica lo siguiente: dónde, qué, cuándo, cómo; nº de personas implicadas, heridas; estado actual; atención prestada; posibilidad de auto-rescate, y ayuda cercana.


If you can afford it, hire rescue insurance covering climbing and mountaineering, search, rescue, and body recoveries. Although the rescue team in El Chaltén is volunteer and none of the rescuers get paid, the funds help ensure the continued operation of the team, buy equipment, medical supplies, subsidize training, etc.

One of the most cost effective ways to get adequate rescue insurance coverage is by becoming a member of the Austrian Alpine Club (for English click the flag on upper right). For a yearly fee of € 80, for trips abroad of up to eight weeks, you get rescue coverage to € 25,000, emergency medical treatment to € 10,000, repatriation (unlimited), full cost of body recovery, etc. It does not matter where you reside. The link above includes a link to download the policy details and exclusions.

CERRO TORRE, "Brothers in Arms"
[posted 23/04/2022] by Rolando Garibotti

Three seasons of effort yield a remarkably difficult line, a partial conclusion to a visionary attempt made four decades earlier. English version.

Tres temporadas de intentos resultan en una línea muy difícil y sostenida, conclusión parcial de un intento visionario realizado cuatro décadas antes. Versión en español.

[posted 05/04/2022] by Rolando Garibotti

Paragliding & BASE jumping. Flights from summits or walls. A brief history, from Matthias and Michael Pinn's visionary 1988 flights, to today. English version.

Parapente y salto BASE. Vuelos desde cumbres o paredes. Historia breve. De los vuelos visionarios de Matthias y Michael Pinn en 1988, al día de hoy. Versión en español.

[posted 29/03/2022] by Rolando Garibotti

Fastest known times, as well as geographic and historic details for the circunnavigation of the Chaltén Massif via the Southern Patagonia Ice Field. English version.

Tiempos mas rápidos conocidos, incluyendo detalles históricos y geográficos para la circumnavegación del Macizo de El Chaltén por el Campo de Hielo. Versión en español.

[posted 25/03/2022] by Rolando Garibotti

The first ascent of the longest, most direct line on the imposing north face of Cerro Torre, done by Tomy Aguiló and Korra Pesce, and its aftermath. English version.

La primera ascensión de la línea más larga y directa en la cara norte del Cerro Torre, llevada a cabo por Tomy Aguiló and Korra Pesce, y sus consecuencias. Versión en español.

Near misses and close-calls

Near misses and close-calls are the huge iceberg below the surface where all the future errors are occurring, but unfortunately we know little about them, because most of us are unwilling to discuss or report them. Maud Vanpoulle, an alpinist and sports-scientist focused on accidentology, has been the lead researcher in a project that collects such reports through the SERAC database. It is anonymous, and available in multiple languages.

The first analysis of the database, from June 2020 can be downloaded from the Petzl Foundation's webpage. The most recent analysis, from November 20202, which focuses on ski-mountaineering but that has lessons and recomendastions that very much apply to alpinism can be downloaded here (pdf).

Re-equipamiento en la zona de Cerro Catedral / Frey

A partir de 2005 se re-equiparon más de 90 vías en la zona del Refugio Frey. Principalmente en la decada del 80, pero lamentablemente hasta el 2000, se usaron para equipar brocas auto-perforantes (espits) en combinación con chapas caseras, de aluminio o zincadas, que dejaban mucho que desear, y en muchos casos eran claramente peligrosas. En este link hay una lista de las vías que se re-equiparon. Hoy se puede decir que la calidad del equipamiento en la zona de Frey es muy buena.

“Manless Rope Team: A Socio-Technical History of a Social Innovation”

Recently, social researchers Cécile Ottogalli-Mazzacavallo and Eric Boutroy, published an article in “The International Journal of the History of Sport” about the history of female alpinism in Europe. It points to the continuing challenges that female mountaineers face, outlining also the progress that has been made. A more than worthy read. Download pdf here.


With Sarah Hart and others, we created a “female alpinism baseline” for the American Alpine Journal. Since its inception the AAJ has been a male-centric publication, and has failed to provide an equitable platform. The “baseline” describes the “state of the art” of female alpinism today and will be used internally to give more editorial space to ascents done by women that come close to, or surpass it. It will do so without categorization, without using the label “female ascent”. The hope is that more editorial space for ascents by women will serve as inspiration.

A Gendered Figuration of Capital in the Patagonian Andes”

In a recent article (pdf download) anthropologist Marcos Mendoza discusses the gender inequalities that can be found in the ecotourism industry and in the mountaineering scene. How the alpine is figured as a space for certain types of subjects, robust males, while women and non-alpine men get marginalized and devalued. The narrative of heroism is at the root of this built in gender bias. If we are to aspire to a more gender neutral space in the alpine environment, do we need to start by revising these cultural constructs? Sexism is so omnipresent that it even appears in the local toponyms. The overwhelmingly male-dominated guiding industry leads to a marked socioeconomic disadvantage for woman and non-alpine men. In one powerful remark Marcos points out that “alpine men have established a near monopoly over the exclusive vertical space of consumption and recreation associated with climbing” and that “women struggle against gender barriers in alpinism, facing sexism, skepticism about their abilities, and paternalistic attitudes that deny their very presence in the Andes.” Much for all of us to think about in Marcos’ article, which although written with El Chalten in mind applies equally to many mountain towns around the world. Marcos is the author of “The Patagonian Sublime: The Green Economy and Post-Neoliberal Politics”.

PATAGONIA ICE-FIELDS. Thickness and volume. The results of a survey by Romain Millan and others was published last year in the journal Geophysical Research. It assessed the ice thickness and volume of the Northern and Southern Patagonian Ice-fields. They used gravimeters, flown in airplanes, and the measurements were used to map the ice thickness. They detected places with ice exceeding 1,600m in thickness. Together, both Patagonia ice-fields hold roughly 40 times the ice volume of the European Alps. As example, the plateau between Cordón Marconi and Cordón Mariano Moreno is estimated to be 1200m deep.


A detailed summary of the most relevant climbing activity in Southern Patagonia during the 2019 / 2020 season can be found here, including short descriptions of all the important ascents, as well as comments about the accidents that ocurred, and risk management considerations.

In the next few weeks, I will incorporate the new ascents into the existing route data base. Also, in a few months there should be a responsive version of this site, which will include Torres del Paine.

CERRO TORRE GLACIER: moraine age dating.

A recent study by Scott Reynhout, Esteban Sagredo, et al., offers the most accurate dating yet of the Cerro Torre Glacier moraines. Using surface-exposure cosmogenic dating (Beryllium-10), they dated seven moraines, obtaining a chronology of the glacier’s advances over the last 18,000 years, which should go a long ways to improve our understanding of the climate fluctuations during that period. The outer most moraine studied, was dated as being 17,000 years old; the moraine in the vicinity of the trail-fork leading to Laguna Madre e Hija, was dated as being 13,000 years old; the following moraine was dated as being 11,600 years old; the moraine before Campo de Agostini is in fact two, the outer one was dated as being 6,900 years old, the inner one 6,100 years, with a younger lateral section that is 4,500 years old; and moraine surrounding Laguna Torre was dated as being 520 years old. The full study can be downloaded from this link (pdf), and a photo showing the moraine ages can be seen here.

Availability in North America.

The "Chalten Massif" guidebook is available from Mammoth Mountaineering in Mammoth, CA; Ouray Mountain Sports, in Ouray, CO; Rock and Resole In Boulder, CO; Bentgate Mountaineering in Golden, CO; Teton Mountaineering in Jackson, WY; Rock & Snow in NY; and Mountain Equipment Coop in Canada.

The "Cerro Catedral / Frey" guidebook is only available from Rock and Resole in Boulder, CO.

SOUTHERN PATAGONIA - 2018/19 Season.

A detailed summary of climbing activity in Southern Patagonia during the 2018/19 season can be found here, including short descriptions of all the important ascents, as well as comments about the accidents that ocurred, and risk management considerations.

A telegram style list of all important ascents and first ascents can be found here, with each ascent linked to it's corresponding route page.

"THE PATAGONIAN SUBLIME: The Green Economy and Post-Neoliberal Politics."

Anthropologist Marcos Mendoza has just published a revealing analysis of the El Chalten area. The book lays bare the issues behind the green economy, dives deep into the social fabric of the town, addresses mountaineering and trekking, takes a close look at APN’s regulatory approach, touches on grassroots actions and a long etcetera. If you are socially and academically inclined, buy a copy. A review here. You can buy it here.

CHALTEN MASSIF - 2017/18 Season summary. List of important ascents, and first ascents: here.

CHALTEN MASSIF - 2016/17 Season summary. List of important ascents, and first ascents: here.


Cerro Paine Grande is the tallest and bulkiest peak in the Torres del Paine National Park. It has been climbed only four times: 1957, 2000, 2011 and 2016. It certainly deserves far more attention. The purpose of this write-up is to give a quick overview of what has been done. There are still a few things that require sorting, particularly the line followed by the Japanese expedition back in 1969. Read on.

Topónimos / Toponyms

Antes de dar nombres a accidentes geográficos (cumbres, puntas, coles, etc) sugiero leer este artículo por Evelio Echevarria, un andinista chileno que lleva más de 50 años explorando y documentando la actividad de montaña a lo largo de los Andes.

Before giving toponyms to any geographic point (summits, sub-summits, saddles, etc) I suggest reading this article by Evelio Echevarria, a chilean climber and explorer that has dedicated much of his life to exploring and documenting ascents across the Andes.

© 2019 Rolando Garibotti.

Macizo de El Chaltén

A complete guidebook to the Chaltén Massif. Winner of the Guidebook Award at the Banff Film and Book Festival. The third edition is now available. Read more

Una guía completa para
las montañas del Macizo
de El Chaltén. Ganador del Premio a la Mejor Guia de Montaña en el Festival de Cine y Libros de Banff, Canada. La tercera edición esta disponible Mas información.

Cerro Catedral - Frey

Guía completa para
las agujas del Cerro Catedral, zona del Refugio Emilio Frey, Bariloche. Segunda edición. Más información

A complete guidebook to the towers of Cerro Catedral, area of Refugio Emilio Frey, Bariloche. Second edition.
More information

Updates & Corrections

Cerro Chalten (Fitz Roy), Supercanaleta, all female ascent.

Aguja Val Biois, Don Lito.

Torrisimo, Sandy Eyes route line.

Updated the length of the Tetons Grand Traverse, from Alex Lowe's late 1990s 14-mile estimate, to Teton Ranger's 17.9 miles, apparently meassured with GPS. Thanks Teton Ranger for the correction.

Torrisimo, Donini's Anatomy route line.

Después de 42 años de la primera ascensión, apareció la cordada que abrió "Anónimo Yankee" en El Abuelo. Fueron Bronwyn y Murray Judge de Nueva Zelanda, en 1976. Habria que cambiarle el nombre a "conocido neozelandés"...

Fixed a bunch of crap on the Pollone section. Now Tridente has its own page, Cumbrecitas too. Took the liberty to rename a nameless route that Carsten put up: "Carstenissima", and call his also nameless Gran Gendarme to Tito Carrasco traverse: "Carsten's Traverse". It seemed like a good way to remember someone that loved the area so much and contributed in so many ways.

Some corrections courtesy of Hugh Logan
- Cerro Solo Cara Este headwall variation
- Cerro Mojón Rojo Cara Noroeste.

- Two new and more detailed topo / photos for the Motocross and Care Bear Traverse.

- Fixed somewhere around 80 broken links... oops. Hopefully now there are just a hadfull.

- Variation on Cerro Solo.

- Variation on El Zorro, Mojón Rojo.

- The Cerro Murallón section has been updated.

- Actualizada la sección sobre el Cerro Colorado. Ahora hace falta registrarse en la oficina de la CONAF en Chile Chico. El resistro es gratis pero obligatorio.

Update to the Cerro Colorado page. Now you must register in the CONAF office in Chile Chico. Registration is free but mandatory.

Recent articles and other

Gestión de Riesgo - Risk Management17/12//2014

El gran número de accidentes que ocurren en comparación al número de usuarios es preocupante. Acá presentamos un primer intento a una ayuda memoria sobre los puntos a tomar en consideración antes de embarcarse en una ascensión. Sugerimos también leer las paginas de la guía relacionadas con “como sobrevivir” y rescates. En español pdf aca.

The huge number of accidents that have been happening in comparison to the number of users is worrisome. Here we present a first attempt at a list of considerations to take into account before embarking on a climb. We also suggest reading carefully the pages of the guidebook that relate to staying alive and rescue. English pdf here.


More "articles" here.


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