2001-2002 SEASON OVERVIEW

Posted on: August 25, 2002


Cerro Torre (3102m)

Southeast ridge, Compressor Route (VI 5.10c A2 70 degrees, 900m, Brewer-Bridwell, 1979), third solo ascent, Dean Potter (USA), on January 23, 2002, in approximately eleven hours from the glacier at the base of the peak to the summit. A bivy was made at the Col of Patience during the descent.

Torre Egger (2850m)

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East face, linkup and variation (VI 5.11 A2 WI6, 950m), Nathan Martin and Tim O'Neill (USA), on January 22-24, 2002. The pair started by climbing the lower six pitches of the Italian Route, followed by a five-pitch variation established two days earlier by Austrians Peter Janschek and Much Mayr. They then climbed an eight-pitch variation of their own to join the upper portion of Titanic for its last fourteen pitches. It took Martin and O'Neill fifty-nine hours roundtrip to complete their ascent, including an epic descent in a raging storm.

Aguja Standhardt (2730m)

North ridge, Festerville (V 5.11 WI5, 550m, Martin-O'Neill, 2000), second ascent, Lorne Glick and Mark Davis (USA), on February 6, 2002, in approximately thirty hours roundtrip from the Noruegos Camp.

Cerro Domo Blanco (2507m)

North face, Son of Jurel (V 5.11 A2 45 degrees, ca. 600m), new route, Jonathan Copp and Dylan Taylor (USA), on January 30-31. Ascent was made to the top of the wall and the end of the technical difficulties; in what they call "classic, modern alpine style," Copp and Taylor chose to forego the snow slopes to the summit in favor of a descent to the west.

Cerro Pollone, East Summit (ca. 2480m)

Lower south buttress of the East Summit, Beg, Borrow, or Steal (IV 5.10, 400m), new route, Mike Schaefer and Blair Williams (USA), in late January 2002. The pair climbed to the top of the buttress, where their line joins Mastica Sputa ca. 250 meters below the summit. The east summit of Cerro Pollone remains unclimbed.

Aguja Guillaumet (2579m)

East face, The Gambler (V M7 WI6+, ca. 580m), new route, Topher Donahue and Jared Ogden (USA), December 6, 2001, in twelve hours. The Gambler ends on Guillaumet's summit ridge, between two prominent gendarmes.

Aguja Mermoz (2732m)

East face, Padre Viento (V M6 WI5+, ca. 520m), new route, Topher Donahue and Jared Ogden (USA), on December 2, 2001. Padre Viento reaches a notch on the far side of Mermoz's south ridge; the ridge sports several blank gendarmes that would require extensive drilling to climb.

West face, Northwest Ridge (VI 5.10 A0, 70 degrees, ca. 1000m), new route, Zlatko Koren and Vasja Kosuta (Slovenia), on November 23, 2001, with the help of David Pehnec. Their line begins from the Fitz Roy Norte Glacier and ends at a prominent col on the summit ridge, about 100 meters from the summit. This summit ridge has several blank gendarmes along the way that might not be climbable without heavy drilling.

Fitz Roy (3405m)

West-southwest face and southwest ridge, "California Roulette" (VI 5.10+ WI5, ca. 2133m), first integral ascent, Dean Potter, on February 5, 2002. Starting from the Polacos Advanced Camp in the Torre Valley at 4:20 a.m., Potter climbed the Bianchi/Frasson Couloir (first climbed by Argentines Kopcke, Vieiro, and Naccachian in 1969), then continued up the Californian Route, reaching the summit at 2:10 p.m. Potter free-soloed both the Couloir (in 7:35) and the Californian Route (in 2:15). This is likely the Californian Route's first free ascent. Descent was made via the Franco-Argentine Route; Potter reached the Rio Blanco by 5 a.m. the next morning. He called his enchainment of the Couloir and the Californian Route "California Roulette," a play on the latter route's name. Since 1969, the integral ascent has been attempted at least four times. The Californian Route has been soloed three times before, but never free-soloed.

North face, new route (VI 5.11a A3, 1200m, plus 200m to the summit), Jerome Arpin, Sylvain Empereur, Yannick Ponson, and Lionel Pouzadoux (France), in January. The team fixed around 800 meters of rope over six days, then summitted late in the evening of January 22, 2002. They descended the route, so anchors are in place.

West face, Supercanaleta (VI 5.10 A2, 85 degrees, 1600m, Comesana-Fonrouge, 1965), winter ascent and first solo ascent.

On January 17, Dean Potter (USA) made the first solo ascent of the route. Climbing free-solo, he summitted at 10:14 a.m. for a base-to-summit time of 6:29. He descended the Franco-Argentine Route, reaching the De Agostini Camp at around 9 p.m. the same day.

Southwest face, Tonta Suerte (VI 5.11 A1, 1200m), new route, Nathan Martin and Tim O'Neill (USA), on February 16-17, 2002. Tonta Suerte ("Dumb Luck") combines the lower portion of the Slovak Route with a series of steep dihedrals and offwidths to gain the west crest of Fitz Roy, where it joins the Supercanaleta for its last seven pitches. In all, Martin and O'Neill climbed seventeen new pitches and completed their ascent in 57.5 hours roundtrip, with one open bivy upon reaching the crest. They descended the Supercanaleta.

Aguja Poincenot (3002m)

North face, Old Smuggler's Route (V 5.11 A2, 35?, 750m, Crouch-Donini, 1996), second ascent, Jim Earl and James Bracken (USA), on February 6-7, 2002.

West and southwest faces, Southern Cross (V 5.11 A1, 950m), new route, Jonathan Copp and Dylan Taylor (USA), on February 17-18, 2002. They descended via the north face, rappelling a line 100 meters left of Old Smuggler's Route.

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