On Monday the 14th of October I’m heading out to the Torres del Paine national park in Patagonia to attempt to make the first ascent of the south face of the south tower of Paine with Mike ‘Twid’ Turner, Jerry Gore and Raphael Jochaud. Twid has attempted the face once before with Stu McAleese back in 2006 when they climbed more than halfway up the face to finally be thwarted by Patagonia style storms with little over 300m to reach the summit. They named their uncompleted line ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ and graded it A3 and 5.10.
This time round we’re hoping for some better weather to attempt the un-climbed wall and if we’re lucky, maybe even the opportunity for a free ascent of the face. Twid and Jerry are both very experienced expedition and big wall climbers and I’m hoping that my lack of expedition and aid climbing experience won’t hold them up too much. Raphael is also an experienced climber and is coming along to record the expedition on video – check out his website here.
I’m really looking forward to this trip. Patagonia is a place I’ve read and heard so much about. I’ve been re-reading sections of Paul Pritchard’s autobiography ‘Deep Play’ as well as Chris Bonnington’s ‘Mountaineer’ to draw some extra inspiration for the expedition and can’t wait to get involved with things on the face.
Thanks to DMM, Lifesystems, Montane, Scarpa, English Braids, the Alpine Club and the BMC for supporting the expedition. You can follow us on either our facebook page or on my Twitter feed which we’ll try and keep updated as regularly as possible.