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Sunday, February 5, 2023

Italians Fight In Fierce Weather In Patagonia On Torre Egger

Ermanno Salvaterra, Fabrizio Rossi, and Roberto Pedrotti are having a challenging time at Torre Egger in Patagonia. Here, experienced Salvaterra attempts for the fifth time to open a route on the summit’s west face.

Following the great Renato Casarotto’s advice, the 67-year-old climber has been enamored with Patagonia since his first journey there decades ago. Salvaterra envisions a line running down the center of the face. He says his preferred route “crosses the core of the wall.” However, he was perpetually repulsed by Patagonian’s poor conditions and unpleasant weather.

Journeys to the Wild South

Patagonia is not a location for impatience. A month was spent getting near the summit and moving cargo ahead. The Cerro Torre massif is 40 kilometers from human habitation. Contrary to many other mountain ranges, helicopters are not an option. Climbers carried their belongings on their backs and knuckles.

A landslide buried one of the loads, and the team lost most of their food and solar panels. Fabrizio Rossi and Marquina Scallabrine, who accompanied them to the Torre Egger base, were required to return to El Chaltén to acquire more supplies.

Climbers need two days to traverse Piedra del Fraile from El Chaltén. The travelers next cross the Marconi Glacier and Marconi Pass before continuing across the southern Patagonia Ice Cap to their base camp.

Even before reaching the stone wall of Torre Egger, difficulties arise. According to climbers, the glacier at the mountain’s base is “terrifying” because of its numerous crevasses. At least two anxious hours are required to cross it using a rope.

Last week, Salvaterra discovered a safer, diagonal way. However, even he, an experienced Patagonia climber, had never before seen such a strong wind.

“It was a bestial day, and it’s better not to go into details,” he remarked. “Silence is preferable. But I shall never forget it. We would frequently stop and place our ski poles in front of us to avoid hitting the ice and being blown away by the wind.

The team has already fixed the first pitches and reached where portal edges will be installed. They already had a strong relationship with the falling ice from the summit’s upper elevations.

Ande. It receives brief updates from Salvaterra despite their weak satellite phone service. According to their most recent report, the squad sought cover while awaiting better weather.

“The gale is raging, but no one seems ready to give up yet,” says Salvaterra.

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